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Moving to Edinburgh - views on some secondary schools

(13 Posts)
MovingEast Fri 26-Oct-12 18:16:12

We are starting new jobs in Edinburgh and are working backwards from schools. Currently looking at secondaries - boroughmuir ,north berwick, linlithgow - would welcome any views/inside info on these from parents. If anyone commutes from North Berwick how does that work out for you? Or should we take the hit and go for Heriots?

3nationsfamily Sat 27-Oct-12 22:17:48

Hi there from Edinburgh (the Mumsnet local forum is in transition at the moment so not much use). First thing about secondaries in Edinburgh is that 25% of the children go to private schools which has the inevitable effect on the state school sector. However there are some great State schools in the city such as Currie, Royal High, Boroughmuir and James Gillespies all with a good catchment of academically motivated kids and parents but also a mix of local kids from the community giving a great all round education.

Boroughmuir is currently in very dilapidated buildings but will soon be moving to a new purpose built school in the few years.

You need to be very careful about catchment in Edinburgh as for many of the popular state schools many out of catchment requests will be refused due to numbers pressure.

Everyone has their own preferences for the private schools and I would recommend you visit a few yourself to get a "feel" for them as the individual culture and atmosphere of each is really quite different. We have one child at State and another at private so I can see the benefits of both sides for each individual child.

North Berwick is a lovely place to live with a great High school, but it is a bit of a trek in to the city with the associated time and cost, and not sure it is the most exciting place for teenagers unless they are in to golf! Also the property prices are very high- comparable to Edinburgh, as many Edinburgh people retire there for the lifestyle, sea, golf etc which keeps the prices high.

I don't know anything about Linlithgow to make any informed commentary other than I would prefer to live in Edinburgh itself with all it has to offer rather than suffer the daily commute!

MovingEast Mon 29-Oct-12 11:59:11

Thanks so much for that - you have tapped into all of our dilemmas. Catch 22 on the catchment issue and the question of life for teenagers in north Berwick. Can't decide whether we should be trying to replicate our current life (sailing, kayaking etc big things for the kids and the big kids!) or taking the chance to take advantage of what a lovely city like Edinburgh has to offer. The catchment issue has made us panic a bit and at heart we know we'd rather invest in the property market for the kids future if great free education is available but the private school results and facilities are hard to dispute.

Good tip to invesitigate range of private schools too. If anyone has experience of the commute from North Berwick, or about life for teenagers there, i'd love to hear how it works out in practice.

Lucky I dye my hair or the extra greys over this would be just too much......

Groovee Mon 29-Oct-12 12:04:06

Port Edgar at South Queensferry is good for outdoor pursuits such as Kayaking and sailing. May be worth looking that sort of direction.

We're in Corstorphine and catchment is Forresters. We've been very happy so far in the time dd has been at the school. We've had a lot of negative comments from family and friends about having sent dd there, but we've found it to be a smaller school where the teachers know their pupils.

Edinburgh and the Lothians is very vast and in one part of Edinburgh you will live a busy city centre life while in leafy suburbs you can live quite a rural life.

Can you visit before you make your mind up?

MovingEast Mon 29-Oct-12 12:16:53

Thanks Groovee. We will definitely do a series of visits. Port Edgar looks like a great facility. If you were in , say Morningside, is it unrealistic to head out there a couple of times a week for sailing - I've no experience of the city bypass.

It is really useful to hear from parents who have actually used schools. I've been hearing good things about Firhill too. I grew up in Edinburgh but things have changed so much that I don't want to make major decisions based on my own outdated ideas. DS is 13, currently S2 and DD is 10, p6 - we're conscious that their needs and interests are changing everyday so we need to plan for that too.

Groovee Mon 29-Oct-12 12:39:36

It would probably be ok. I know friends who live in Colinton use it, so it's not too much further. Sometimes going through town is quicker than the bypass though.

Dh went to Firrhill, refused to consider moving to the Firrhill Catchment despite it being a completely different school now compared to the early 80's lol. But Firrhill is one of the top ones these days.

I went to Tynecastle which has changed a lot since I went there.

You're probably best to choose an area which you think suits you and your budget.

CarpeJugulum Mon 29-Oct-12 12:49:34

Linlithgow graduate here (parents still live there).

Generally strong academically with good after school activities. School building may not be as up to date as some of the other schools you mentioned, but it is friendly.

Area is lovely, and an easy 20-30 minute train commute to Edinburgh, Glasgow or Stirling and also easy access to the M9. Reasonable pubs (I recommend the real ale at the Four Mary's!) and supermarkets, also a leisure centre at one end of the town.

Housing is mainly development on estates at about 20-50 years old, but there are newer flats, and a load of older houses if you can get them.

I love it, and if I could afford it/get a job, I'd drag DH and DS back there in a shot smile

MovingEast Mon 29-Oct-12 18:37:32

That's helpful, thanks both. I feel a g&t and a pin in the map coming on...... Seriously I think we need to do more street tramping and school visits to 'try on' the different areas.

3nationsfamily Mon 29-Oct-12 22:19:33

Just don't make your water sports plans around Port Edgar always being there...

pattymcmeans Wed 10-Apr-13 22:11:47

I realize this is an older post, but I am re-locating to Edinburgh from the US, with a daughter going into P2, looking at Gillespie's and Boroughmuir.
Can anyone give me the skinny on these two schools, please?

Loolumboolum Wed 10-Apr-13 22:15:12

Do you mean P2 (aged 6-7) or S2?

motherstongue Fri 12-Apr-13 00:00:52

Patty I would re-post on the Edinburgh local site as there isn't a lot of traffic on the Education site for individual schools in Scotland unless they are private schools in my experience. Hope you get some help and advice there.

pattymcmeans Fri 12-Apr-13 06:37:45

Thanks, and I did post on the Edinburgh site, too. I do mean S2, not P2! Does anyone know about either of these schools? Also, is it usual in the UK to contact the state school directly if one wants a place in them, or is everything handled through the City?
Thanks much

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