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Closest Secondary Schools on Rightmove(20 Posts)
I’m pulling my hair out, trying to find a property to purchase for myself & 2 children, one of which starts secondary next September. How do I ensure we are in the right catchment ? I need to be in a certain council district (in this case Wyre, Lancs) but what happens if my preferred school (the outstanding one) is 0.2 miles further away than the alternative secondary (which requires improvement so I’m really trying to avoid). Is it the case that I just need to make sure I find a house as close as possible to the outstanding school, or does it not matter if another is slightly closer ? Sorry for what might seem a silly query but kids currently in independent but due to divorce we need to move and I can’t afford to keep them in private. Your advice most appreciated !
I think you’d need to get in touch with the education department (or have a look on their website) to find the catchment information. You don’t want to just guess and find you don’t get a place at the school you want.
You need to see if either school has a catchment and you can draw a search area on Rightmove, rather than relying on them telling you where the nearest school is.
The draw a search allows you to literally draw street by street where you want to be. I used this when we moved years ago although my move wasn't quite as pressured as yours.
Details of the catchment should be on the school's website if not the council's.
I'd recommend this website. it's not perfect as it'll change from year to year but the more inside the green you can get the better - www.locrating.com/school_catchment_areas.aspx
You definitely need to look on the LEA website; our one has a very detailed map of catchment areas for our city - where we are, our catchment school is not the closest, and the closer one is rather more popular, so anyone assuming places are allocated on distance would be disappointed.
I’ve found that the locrating website above has confused people so If definitely read up on the website of the local education authority. Every school also has their admissions policy on their website so you can easily look that up.
You might also double check that the require improvement school is definitely bad. Sometimes, schools can be pretty decent but fail on some technicallities and they’re soon up to scratch again (admittedly, more often they’re just bad).
You need to check catchments - either LA website or school itself and also ideally where last child in came from. Old house there were two primaries - we were in catchment for both but once no-one had got into in past 10 years as a block of flats was built right outside the school and people rented to get a place.
Some people in the middle of the two schools couldn't get into either even though they were closer than many to one of the schools due to catchment area.
Don't take the estate agents word for it as ours told us a load of rubbish despite his wife teaching at both of the schools. It can be worth asking people locally if you know anyone.
I've just had to do this myself - - our LA says that they will look at your closest school, regardless of catchment.
The problem we had was that our favoured (very good) school was very close to another one which needs a lot of improvement. So we could be 0.3 miles away from each of them. The good school is massively oversubscribed but the other is massively undersubscribed, so their locatring diagrams looked very different!
On our LA website, there's an official section where you can add the exact address you are looking at and get the distance in meters and cm. It's really exact and is the same system they use. There were some houses we discounted because they were 20m closer to the other school and we didn't want to take that risk.
In the end we have chosen a house which is 0.7miles away, but in the other direction, so our preferred school is definitely the closest!
Check the way your LA do their submissions and work to that.
My local authority have a school catchment map. School catchments around me are not what you’d think. They are very odd shaped & bend round certain areas you’d think might be in catchment & include areas you’d assume weren’t! It’s def not always the closest school as the bird flies!
Every authority does things differently, so you'll need specific advice from your council. Some do as the crow flies distance, some do shortest safe walking route, others still have actual pre-drawn catchments which are often not intuitive - we're not in catchment for our nearest high school, but we are in catchment for the better one three quarters of a mile further away.
Dont rely on the rightmove catchments! Use as a guide for sure, but they are a rough estimate.
For example - we are not in the catchment for our nearest secondary. It's a 5 min walk away. We are in catchment for the school we would need to walk past the side of non catchment school, and one a bus journey away.
Council is the best bet - ours has a map which is brilliant once you have found it (but it's a bugger to find).
Agree with the others. Our LA has a website you can put in the exact address and it will list your schools in nearest order. Any schools that aren’t your nearest, you’re relying on there being places once all the nearest children that applied have theirs confirmed. Then it goes on distance if I’ve understood correctly.
I’d go through all the official websites to be certain, once you’re serious about somewhere.
Also look at how near on average the places go. A local school to us (although primary) didn’t have enough spaces for everyone that had it as their nearest.
Ah I’ve just seen for secondary it may not just be nearest. Definitely get into the official websites then. Good luck x
@Asgoodasarest - my current LA has the same, I’m finding it really tricky with both the school admissions page and LA to find it. The school does state areas but it’s really vague so just trying to find a place as close as possible to school !
You need to look very carefully at the LEA's admissions arrangements. A quick look suggests that the LEA schools use straight line distance and not true catchment areas. There is one school mentioned on the website which is consulting on a true catchment area, which they refer to as a 'geographical priority area'.
Hi @ChilliBeanSauce if it is the town and schools I think it might be I would consider more than just the Ofsteds - the outstanding is from an incredibly long time ago. I don't have a child at either school but live nearby and have met several families who are very pleased with the RI one.....
Off topic a bit, but I'm on the fylde coast (was wyre council now living in Blackpool) and I'm trying to figure out which schools they are.
I thought it was. I went to Baines. It doesn't seem as good as it was when I went and Hodgson has improved a lot since I was a teenager. I can understand you worry about getting into the catchment. It seems they both have the same catchment areas more or less according to lancs gov website for Hodgson and Baines' website, which doesn't really help you out.
Hodgson current catchment for the school year starting next month - https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/media/907159/hodgson-academy-4-december-2018.pdf
Baines catchment for 2021/22 - http://baines.lancs.sch.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Admissions-for-20212022.docx.pdf
I am also looking to move in the area (anywhere from Fleetwood up to warton) and having to consider primary school catchment areas for my 3yo.