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Dilemma: Do a big move or not yet?

(15 Posts)
MrsWiddle Mon 03-Jul-17 01:26:43

We are looking to move as we've run out of space in our current house - we have a toddler and baby so want this move to be to a house in a good primary school catchment area.

My dilemma is whether we should do a big move now and try to also be in a catchment area for a good^^ secondary school or should we upsize in our current area (which we love) but know that we will want to move again at some point as we are not happy about the secondary schools in the area.

If we do the "big" move we can get a bigger house that will suit us indefinitely however it means moving to a completely new area that we don't know much about and have no friends etc. It would also result in our commutes to work doubling (although I work part time and DH is mainly based at home so neither of use commute daily). I also don't know the schooling beyond what I've researched on the internet.

If we stay where we currently live we can only afford a slightly bigger house which would do us for 5/10 years but then we'd need/want more space and have to move again. Our current location really suits us - it's got great transport links, we have quick and easy commutes, friends and it's very convenient for shops and activities.
The problem is that whilst we'd be able to get our kids into a good primary school here, I'm not happy with the secondary schools so feel that I'd want to find alternatives which would mean a move and [most likely] disrupting our kids by changing schools at some point.

Is it better to do the big move now and take a chance that the secondary schools will be better or do we stay local and move later on? I know I am totally over-thinking this by trying to plan for secondary schools before my toddler is even in primary school but I want to get this right as moving costs a lot of money!

MrsWiddle Mon 03-Jul-17 01:29:50

I should also say that the reason I don't like the secondary school in our current area is all to do with it's setting/location and not it's Ofsted rating (it's situated on a busy A road and doesn't have much outside space).

AramintaJolly Mon 03-Jul-17 01:34:00

How old are the children? If they're young I'd stay in the area you like and see how you feel in a few years - a lot can change in secondary sch terms

MrsWiddle Mon 03-Jul-17 01:48:41

Eldest is 2.5 and then a baby of 3 months smile

MrsWiddle Mon 03-Jul-17 01:49:45

I just wonder how tough it is to move when kids are settled into schools? I never moved schools when I'm was young so have no idea.

PotatoesAreDelicious Mon 03-Jul-17 06:47:31

I would plan on one school at a time. Move in your current area, enjoy the benefits of friends, transport links etc.

We moved for both, primary was a relocation move of 100 miles so we deliberately moved into a catchment area into a small house. Then when Ds1 was in year 3 we moved again. We needed a much bigger house by then (forced into teeny house by housing market craziness) and so started to scope out secondary schools.

Because I could drive the children to their existing primary school we just moved into the catchment of an incredible secondary and for the last 7 years I have done the school run in the car. But it is only 3 miles away.

You have no idea what will happen schools wise for secondary. We jumped slightly early but desperately needed more space.

Buckinghambae Mon 03-Jul-17 07:44:23

What does doubling your commute look like? There's a big difference if your current commute is 10 vs 30 minutes.

PippaFawcett Mon 03-Jul-17 12:32:51

Do the big move now, your children are at an age where they and you will settle quickly.

CrazedZombie Mon 03-Jul-17 12:35:08

Big move now.
It's much easier to have your kids go to same secondary as their primary school classmates.

CrazedZombie Mon 03-Jul-17 12:38:35

In order to be in catchment for the secondary you'll have to have moved during your oldest child's y6 year by the latest. We moved in the summer before y6 which isn't ideal as he only had 1 year at his primary but at least he moved up with his class,

Some secondaries prioritise kids at feeder primaries. Its not a given that you can get a y6 spot at a popular school.

NanooCov Mon 03-Jul-17 12:38:59

Have you visited local secondary? Being on a busy road may put me off a bit but lack of outdoor space is easily resolved if they use alternative sports facilities. If their current ofsted is good I'd remain in the area. Look for a house that suits you now but with potential to extend later if you decide to stay put.

PippaFawcett Mon 03-Jul-17 12:41:00

Also moving is really expensive, with fees, stamp duty, removals etc so I wouldn't plan to have two lots of that if I could avoid it.

What Crazed said is true as well, you would need to disrupt both of them to get into your secondary anyway. Do it now and save the hassle!

namechangedtoday15 Mon 03-Jul-17 15:13:13

Move now.

We moved with 3.5yr old twins. Were happy with primary schools in old area but secondary school choices were poor. Spent lots of time researching new area and going at weekends, ended up chatting to a few people in cafes / estate agent with kids etc to get an 'on the ground' feel for schools as well as ofsted reports etc.

We've all made lots of friends (adults and kids) in new area through school. Also went on to have Number 3 here and it was easy to make friends attending baby and toddler classes. Great time to move I think.

My twins have just started secondary school and it was a steep learning curve / difficult time for them even with their friends / familiarity with the schools (close to their primary school & some familiar faces from older kids they knew), no disruption at home. I think it would be even harder with a new town / new house etc. From a family point of view too, its much more difficult to make friends with other parents at senior school.

I also agree that places in Year 6 can be hard to come by in the catchment of sought after secondary schools because lots of people realise in Year 5 that their secondary choices are limited and seek to move.

OVienna Mon 03-Jul-17 15:34:36

I would also lean towards moving now, but bear in mind the situation with secondaries can change. So- it does kind of depend where you're thinking of. If you're thinking to yourself, great we'll go there, it's got an excellent grammar/competitive independent find out what the other options are if that doesn't work out...

We are in a part of London where population growth in the nearly 20 years we've lived here has been unbelievable. Our next door neighbours' kids in our first house went to schools that no longer draw from our area and/or became impenetrably competitive. The catchment maps have really shifted.

That said - stamp duty, moving costs are all hideous and looking at the experience of others who have moved late in primary to get their kids into good schools - it's not something I would seek to do unless I really, really had no other option.

MrsWiddle Tue 04-Jul-17 22:53:05

Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond. I think that moving now seems best and worth the compromise on other things like our commute etc (I'm really loath to move the kids in the future). That said we've just lost our buyer so it doesn't look like we will be moving anytime soon (market is really bad now where we are). sad

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