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Another moving for schools thread - help!

(33 Posts)
Littlepuddleducks Sat 23-May-20 15:55:09

Hi - I apologies as I am sure this has been asked a million times before as I have been searching mumsnet for many many months for similar posts. We trying to find a suitable location to uproot our family of 5 to a new area. We currently based next to Harringay Ladder in a lovely 3 bedroom terraced house. Our kids are 6 months, 3 years and 5 years. It’s perfect for now but the dreaded no secondary schools is always in the back of my mind and also the fact that we have three kids and when they become huge teenagers we may want more space to hide away from them!

Top places so far on our search
- Southgate Green - good schools, lovely parks (trent, Grovelands), beautiful Edwardian housing stock, on the tube, limited high street though, no idea about community
- Claygate Surrey - quick train into London, lovely housing, nice high street, local primary got bad ofsted though
- Wanstead East London - lovely high street, good primaries, nice community feel, slightly feels like country but in London, expensive housing for what your get, limited secondary schools

Love London as grew up in Hackney but would love less polluted, less hectic lifestyle as we are really outdoors family.
Also I feel it’s better to move when kids are young as they don’t have cemented friendships (or to the extent they would when they are older).
Where do we move? Budget 1.2-1.25 million for 5 bedroom house and big garden. Good primary and secondary mixed - state comp (we have boys and girls and I would like them to go to school together). Maximum approx 45 mins train journey into London.
Also if possible a diverse laid back friendly community who aren’t snobby. I love chatting to people!
Any help or advice would be gratefully received smile

sleepismysuperpower1 Sat 23-May-20 16:16:09

Hitchin? You would be a 40 minute train journey from London. For secondary, there is the priory school, and for primary there is a choice, although the closest one to the secondary school is our lady primary.

goteam Sat 23-May-20 16:27:15

Aren't you in the catchment for Skinners Academy? Seems like an ok school and one which will likely improve.

Re Southgate we also looked into this but the lovely Edwardian housing you mention (The Lakes Estate) is nowhere near the really good secondary school (Ashmole Academy). I checked and it is completely out of catchment. This was our frontrunner to move to last year but I don't like the housing nearer the school and couldn't get a feel for the area or any kind of buzz which I would miss. We are currently in Hackney but also need to move. lower budget (more like 950k max) but only 2 kids so could manage a 3 / 4 bed house.

I had some good advice on here and was recommended South Woodford. Doesn't necessarily fit our needs but may yours.

Littlepuddleducks Sat 23-May-20 17:05:13

@sleepismysuperpower1 I really loved Hitchen! my only concern is that I felt really cut off from friends in London and if anything happened to the train line then I would be stuck but definitely worth a follow up. Thank you!

Littlepuddleducks Sat 23-May-20 17:10:13

@goteam seems we are in similar boats smile were the properties near Southgate green not in Ashmole catchment? I didn’t like the housing next to the school either without sounding like a house snob! Also felt like there may not be a vibrant community but it definitely has a nice feel.
Have you tried the gardens next to Harringay ladder if you want to stay in London? You can get easily get something for your budget, it’s where we are now and lots of people and families from hackney here.
Re South Woodford, we checked it out and it seemed nice but something didn’t feel quite right.
How many hours do you spend researching haha think I am going bonkers!

Gemma2019 Sat 23-May-20 17:14:19

Highams Park or North Chingford? Great schools and within the grammar catchments. Direct train to Liverpool Street in 25 mins. You could get a great house for that money. Also Woodford Green, but that is Central Line to London.

goteam Sat 23-May-20 17:20:45

Ha! Always on Rightmove!

If you mean the bit of Southgate near that lovely pub the old cherry tree near the Lakes Estate then yes, it is out of catchment. It seems like a very functional place, Southgate though. Decent leisure centre, M&S (!) and Asda depending on your tastes and as you mention, the lovely parks. Station, closebto greenery, an FE college. Really, on paper lots going for it.

Re Harringay, my DH prefers the Ladders side rather than Gardens. I do love the Harringay Ladders but not 100% on the secondary school situation (Skinners is fine, average GCSEs but do we want better? Not sure really!). We are considering Walthamstow but only because we want somewhere with it's own community and buzz and I always feel like where we live now and Harringay ladders is a bit too well connected and feels like a thoroughfare rather than it's own community. I may be wrong about Harringay of course!

Littlepuddleducks Sat 23-May-20 17:50:00

@Gemma2019 thank you will check out Highams and add it to my list smile

SE13Mummy Sat 23-May-20 18:07:39

Would you move south of the river shock? If so, have a look at the Telegraph Hill area. Close to Haberdasher Askes Hatcham if you're after a mixed secondary but plenty of excellent primary schools too. Or Forest Hill if you'd be willing to consider single sex secondaries; I always thought I'd want my DCs at mixed secondaries but it turns out that it wasn't a priority when looking.
The Kidbrooke/Blackheath area has Thomas Tallis school on its doorstep which is popular and single sex.

BeijingBikini Sat 23-May-20 18:33:14

I'd second Hitchin - it's 25 mins to Finsbury Park or 30ish into KCSP.

OVienna Sat 23-May-20 18:40:30

I am local to So Woodford, Woodford, Wanstead, and know Highams Park. Stamp Duty on a house at that price range will be huge; I'd look very closely at whether the state secondaries are that much better. Private schools are popular here. People move out of this area for Bishops Stortford to access the state secondaries. Have you thought of that area?

Campurp Sat 23-May-20 18:40:49

I second Highams park/chingford. Good school at both primary and secondary. Not a big town vibe and lots of community spirit and activities. We moved from the same area as you 3 years ago and love it here.

Crabbo Sat 23-May-20 18:48:43

If you’re outdoorsy I’d recommend Woodford green/South Woodford over Wanstead - Wanstead has a nice high street but it always feels really hemmed in by massive roads to me/lots of traffic. We moved fro Walthamstow to Upper Leytonstone last year and like it here (still a good community and close to walthamstow but feels more leafy).

sunlightflower Sat 23-May-20 19:11:54

Wanstead is really lovely in almost every way but the secondary school options are one of its weaker points. They're not terrible but it wouldn't be my top choice if I were moving for schools, unless you can afford private.

Others have suggested Highams Park but I thought that was similar - lovely area but not great for secondaries, but perhaps I've missed one!

Would you consider further out in Essex? Brentwood, Ingatestone, Bishops Stortford?

Littlepuddleducks Sat 23-May-20 19:13:54

Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply I really appreciate everyone’s recommendations which I am definitely going to follow up on!

Littlepuddleducks Sat 23-May-20 19:15:03

@Campurp what is the name of primary and secondary school? Thanks for your help, going for a little drive tomorrow smile

Littlepuddleducks Sat 23-May-20 19:16:59

@sunlightflower definitely haven’t ruled out any areas at all, which particular areas you would recommend? Thanks xx

Littlepuddleducks Sat 23-May-20 19:20:57

@OVienna thanks so much for your reply, the reason I wasn’t keen on private is that fees for all three kids is near half a million and I would prefer to put money into bricks so hopefully then one day I can downgrade in twenty years and help the kids to buy a property (she says with her fingers crossed) will look into bishop strotford xx

Littlepuddleducks Sat 23-May-20 19:35:54

@Crabbo thank u, I agree a few times I have been to high street it has been rammed albeit lovely! Also it seems so chopped up with massive roads Going to check Woodford green properly next week! Thank u smile

OrchidFlakes Sat 23-May-20 19:43:01

Another one suggesting highams Park or north chingford. We moved away a few years back for a rural life, London was t for us with kids in the end, but they’re great areas, very good access to the great outdoors and lovely communities.

OVienna Sat 23-May-20 21:45:47

Little it won't be half a million for three if you do private secondary only. There are excellent primary schools here. But the argument remains the same: is it worth a move from where you are for hefty stamp duty fees and possibly wanting to go private?

Gemma2019 Sun 24-May-20 02:41:15

In Highams Park/Woodford depending on catchment you have Oakhill, St Mary's, Wells Primary, Handsworth Primary, probably dozens more. Secondary you have the grammars - Woodford County High (girls), Ilford County High (boys), Trinity, Highams Park School, Woodbridge. I can't remember the others. Also lots of independent schools.

Blondie1984 Sun 24-May-20 03:04:54


sunlightflower Sun 24-May-20 06:55:22

OP, all of the secondaries listed by @gemma2019 are options from Wanstead too (with Wanstead High replacing Highams Park) so don't necessarily place Highams Park above Wanstead from a schools perspective - although I appreciate you may still prefer it for other reasons!

Ohhgreat Sun 24-May-20 07:10:26

A couple of thoughts - there is no guarantee that secondaries that are good now will still be good in ten years. Look at the number of schools who were Ofsted outstanding in 2011 that are now requires improvement.
Secondly if you move when two or three kids are in primary, there is no guarantee there will be space in a local primary to take all of them. Especially if the primaries are good, they tend to stay full with little turnover (unless it's a catchment with army/navy children ofc)

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