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Schools around Edinburgh

(64 Posts)
searchingforschool Tue 09-Aug-11 18:09:23

I will be moving to Scotland next year with my son now 15 for his education. I am completely new to UK.
Could somebody please advice me on good schools in the outskirts of Edinburgh. I read about East/West/Mid Lothian. Could someone advice which of these places has good schools. I also heard about grammar schools. How to find out which school is a grammar school? I also read on various threads on mumsnet that state schools in Scotland are quite good.
Could anyone please elaborate more on schools around Edinburgh area.
I would be thankful.
Many thanks!

scottishmummy Tue 09-Aug-11 19:38:37

find out which local authority you are purchasing in.estate agent can tell you
goggle that LA and they list schools. BUT DO NOT RELY UPON ESTATE AGENT TO VERIFY SCHOOL CATCHMENT- THEY CAN AND DO LIE STRETCH TRUTH
city of edinburgh secondary schools catchments
list of secondary schools

you need to chose faith (if applicable) or non faith

if you have money to buy or rent in a desirable school catchment,that increases your chance of place,but some schools are v competitive and over subscribed eg
gillespies,
boroughmuir,
balerno,
royal High,
currie

good southside schools eg mornigside v over subscribed

there are many private schools too

so good luck

scottishmummy Tue 09-Aug-11 19:45:38

midlothian schools a-z

catchment east lothian

rainbowtoenails Tue 09-Aug-11 19:54:48

There arent any grammar schools in Scotland. Which month is his birthday in as this will effect his year group. In Scottish schools pupils do a 2 year course in s3&4 then a 1 year higher course in s5. I think it would be v difficult to move into this system after the start of s3 tbh.

scottishmummy Tue 09-Aug-11 20:08:19

there are school called grammar,but non selective
paisley grammar
hamilton grammar
no grammar schools in scotland

scottishmummy Tue 09-Aug-11 20:09:54

no local authority selective grammar
some private schools called XYZ grammar

searchingforschool Wed 10-Aug-11 05:19:47

Hi
Thanks a lot for all this information. I heard that private schools are very expensive. So they are out of question for me. But, as I am moving for the purpose of his education, I am really interested in a good school. What does it mean non selective grammar school and no local authority selective grammar?

If it is difficult to move after sec3, then is it better to repeat?
He was born end January. Presently is 15.

howabout Wed 10-Aug-11 06:10:32

Re grammar schools - in Scotland the name Grammar is just an historical legacy rather than having any educational significance.

The faith school division is different in Scotland. The main distinction is between Roman Catholic and non-denominational state schools. ie nothing equivalent to C of E schools etc.

If you have freedom of choice on where to live and can commute for work by train then Linlithgow is 20 minutes by train to centre of Edinburgh and Linlithgow Academy is one of top 5 state secondary schools in Scotland.

Given his birthday is end of January that would make him one of youngest in the year group and in Scotland parents can choose to defer school start for children born between the end of December and the end of February so moving into sec3 would definitely be an option and there would probably be others in his year group the same age if you did this.

rainbowtoenails Wed 10-Aug-11 08:40:28

Yes he would start s3. Do you realise the term starts next week?

There is no selection by academic ability in any scottish state school. They are all comprehensives even though some still have the word grammar in their name.

Linlithgow is probably the best in the area you are looking at.

scottishmummy Wed 10-Aug-11 09:38:02

no selective state schools in scotland.no grammar schools
what area you thinking of looking at?
and yes scottish schools start back next week

AMumInScotland Wed 10-Aug-11 10:13:45

If you are looking to move during next year, then he would probably have to start in S5 next August as one of the youngest in his year. This is because S3 and S4 are normally spent on a 2 year course leading to Standard Grade qualifications (roughly the same level as GCSEs).

Because his birthday is January, if he had started school in Scotland from the beginning, he could have started the August while he was still 4 or the following August when he had already turned 5 - either way he would have started in P1 and would have carried on through from there. So you could argue for him going into either class, depending on what you think would work better for him.

If he was starting now (in a week's time!) he would go into either S3 or S4 at his age - but because its a 2 year course he'd be better off starting in S3.

But since you're looking at next year he'd either go into S4 (halfway through the 2 year course) or S5 when they start new courses.

It maybe also depends on the pattern of school education where you are now - will he have done a set of exams similar to GCSE/Standard Grade level before you move?

searchingforschool Wed 10-Aug-11 15:55:07

Many thanks for your message.

searchingforschool Wed 10-Aug-11 15:56:44

Dear scottishmummy,
couldn't really understand your message!

searchingforschool Wed 10-Aug-11 16:04:40

Dear scottishmummy,
couldn't really understand your following message!

scottishmummyWed 10-Aug-11 09:38:02

no selective state schools in scotland.no grammar schools
what area you thinking of looking at?[outskirts/suburbs of Edinburgh]
and yes scottish schools start back next week

But, many tx for your earlier reply. It was quite useful.

scottishmummy Wed 10-Aug-11 22:06:01

no selective (grammar schools) in scotland.some schools retain historical name of Grammar School.but selective state grammar abolished in scotland

schools start back next week,if you are starting son you have a few days before school start...

where are you planning to live.have you got place sorted.

searchingforschool Thu 11-Aug-11 04:29:35

Many thanks for clarifying. As my main aim is my son's education, I will live near a good school.
I chose Lothian as renting was not as costly as in the centre of Edinburgh.
I had read about Linlithgow and was planning to live some place nearby. I did call them but they will open only on 16th August.
But, since I am new to UK, I wanted to know the opinion of the locals as it is very difficult to say just by reading the info on the net whether a school is really good or not.
I have yet to check out the following schools recommended by you:
gillespies,
boroughmuir,
balerno,
royal High,
currie

Thanks again!
P.S. At the present school we follow British system/curriculum.

Colleger Thu 11-Aug-11 13:37:26

If he has been following the British system then he is following the English system not the Scottish system. It would be better to put him into an English grammar school unless you have to move to Scotland.

AMumInScotland Thu 11-Aug-11 13:48:09

Linlithgow is certainly good - DS has just left there. But be careful where you look at houses "nearby" as they are unlikely to have places for pupils out of catchment. The council should be able to tell you what areas are in catchment even though the school office is shut.

Are you clear about the differences between Scottish and English systems? There are similarities but also big differences, and it's worth making sure you really understand those before you commit to Scotland, unless you have other reasons why you have decided on that rather than England, as he will be changing to a different system to what his current school does. (You can bet that "British" = English. If it was Scottish, they would say so clearly)

searchingforschool Thu 11-Aug-11 17:23:38

Thanks a lot for your messages!
Could you please explain the differences in the British and Scottish systems. My main aim is that he should be able to go to a good University in UK. Are children at a disadvantage if they finish Scottish schools (highers/advanced highers) and apply for a university in England?

P.S. Here kids do "O" and "A" levels.

Colleger Thu 11-Aug-11 18:06:13

The reason kids don't seem to be disadvantaged in Scotland is because, on the whole, the majority go on to Scottish universities. Controversial but the A'level is the safest bet and many of the Scottish private schools offer A'levels instead of highers. England is also much more ethnically diverse than Scotland. Children in Scotland do one less year at school than in England.

I am Scottish but have opted for the English system as I believe it to be better and it is more transferable worldwide.

Fuzzled Thu 11-Aug-11 18:07:55

Thirded for Linlithgow. grin

tabulahrasa Thu 11-Aug-11 19:38:41

'Are children at a disadvantage if they finish Scottish schools (highers/advanced highers) and apply for a university in England?'

No, but people tend to go to university in Scotland, it's free for starters.

In my opinion once you're not looking at Edinburgh itself, some schools have better reputations than others, but because they're not in a city and have a varied catchment, most are alright anyway.

fluffles Thu 11-Aug-11 19:45:15

boroughmuir - renting near here will be quite expensive, it's quite far into central ediburgh, but it is a good school

balerno & currie are even more expensive areas.... on the outskirts of edinburgh and wonderful for commuting into the city so very very popular - sorry.

fluffles Thu 11-Aug-11 19:48:42

if you'll have been in scotland for three years by the time he goes to uni then it is worth staying here for the free university!

i prefer the scottish education system myself which is more broad and less specialist than the english.

if your aim is for him to get into an english univeristy then perhaps A levels are the best bet, but most english universities are very open to good scottish qualifications... and of course some scottish univerisities are world-class too.

DamselInDisarray Thu 11-Aug-11 19:59:36

English universities accept Scottish qualifications. There is no problem at all. Standard grades are equivalent to gcses, highers are equivalent to AS levels, and advanced highers are equivalent to A-levels. English university staff dealing with admissions know and understand this.

There are also very good universities in Scotland.

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