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areas with good state secondary and primary for family relocating from US

(43 Posts)
luluT12 Tue 22-Apr-14 12:33:46

Help: I have 3 daughters ages 7, 10 and 12 that I need to find good state schools for. We need to be commuting distance from Farringdon Tube Station. I hear it can be a real challenge, finding a good secondary school that is not full. All three of my girls are very bright and good testers. Any thoughts on family Neighborhoods that might fit the bill? Thanks!

MadameDefarge Fri 25-Apr-14 14:43:31

Depends on what you want in terms of environment. Ie, Inner London or Suburbs. I live in Hackney where the schools are pretty good, and several of the secondaries rated outstanding. Very up and coming, but also very mixed area. Farringdon is pretty commutable for both north and south of the river.

If you can give us an idea of the kind of neighbourhood that would make you happy and your housing budget, we could make a more informed decision.

luluT12 Fri 25-Apr-14 16:03:10

Thank you for your reply. We could be happy urban or suburban... urban as long as there are green parks near by and a family neighborhood feel. We like artistic and more liberal minded communities. Mixed is great as long as it is very safe. Housing budget no more than 3500 pounds and 3-4 bedrooms. I will check out Hackney.

MadameDefarge Fri 25-Apr-14 16:07:37

Very safe is probably not going to happen anywhere in London. Housing is very mixed, even in the poshest areas. And the more liberal/arty communities tend to live in slightly edgier areas anywhere. If you move to a more 'leafy' suburb you might struggle a bit on the arty/liberal front, but not necessarily. Of course housing will be a good deal cheaper outside of London proper. But the payoff is of course longer commutes and perhaps not quite such a like-minded community.

MadameDefarge Fri 25-Apr-14 16:10:12

where did I read safe? Apologies. In which case, Hackney is a fabulous borough to live in. Lots of great parks (Victoria Park, Clissold Park, London Fields to name but a few) and a real centre for artistic/media folk. There are also lots of great little communities grown up around schools and areas. I love it.

MadameDefarge Fri 25-Apr-14 16:13:38

Oh, Yes, just spotted the safe again.

I do tend to find that if you are not personally engaged in any dodgier elements in a community here, you will be as safe as in any leafier area. Just get good house alarm and don't hang out with the drug dealers.

MadameDefarge Fri 25-Apr-14 16:16:08

There is also two all-girls schools rated outstanding by Ofsted, Our Lady Convent and Clapton Girls Academy. The other great secondaries are Stoke Newington, Mossbourne and City Academy. Primary schools are pretty good generally as well. But be warned, catchment areas are very very small, you really do need to live virtually on top of the schools.

luluT12 Fri 25-Apr-14 16:25:16

Thank you for your help. I will look into those schools and Hackney. Any other suggestions besides Hackney if schools are full?

MadameDefarge Fri 25-Apr-14 16:29:07

Islington is a very nice area (mixed again) but its secondaries have had a time of it . Highbury Grove is excellent by all accounts now. But I personally would not choose Islington unless you can get into William Tyndale or other primaries like it (search MN for threads on that).

Otherwise I am a bit in the dark. Hopefully someone else will be able to enlighten you. Though I have heard good things about East Dulwich...

MadameDefarge Fri 25-Apr-14 16:34:19

Also, you have to have to be resident in a borough before you can apply formally for a school place...worth knowing so you can time stuff.

mary21 Fri 25-Apr-14 17:22:18

Richmond, nearly all the primaries good or outstanding. Secondaries all good or outstanding except twickenham academy and Hampton academy so avoid that side of the borough. Also within striking distance tiffin girls. Not sure if they do in year admissions and only suitable if very very bright. Option of Waldegrave too.
All schools oversubscribed but there is quite a lot of movement.. journey time to Faringdon from twickenham 1.25_1.5 hours door to door. Safe green leafy area.

Beastofburden Fri 25-Apr-14 17:26:33

How far is commuting distance? what about Sevenoaks or Cambridge?

Beastofburden Fri 25-Apr-14 17:27:19

Is that budget £3.5m or £350k?

mary21 Fri 25-Apr-14 17:28:23

When will your 10 year old turn 11 and when are you planning to arrive. If she will be 11 before 31st August and you are arriving before September you will probably find it tricky to find a decent secondary place. Places have been allocated for the new school year. Your other 2 are dependant on people leaving and spaces coming up. The education authorities have to find them space somewhere so move to San area with lots of good schools.

Mintyy Fri 25-Apr-14 17:30:22

Beastofburden - I assume op is talking about £3,500 pcm rent.

luluT12 Fri 25-Apr-14 17:33:59

Thanks all! Appreciate the feedback. Would like to keep commute to not much more than an hour. My 10 year old doesn't turn 11 until end of September. So I need space for year 3, 6 and 9. My kids are gifted with my secondary well above genius IQ. I was reading that some secondaries base acceptance on IQ, is that true? Our temporary housing is in Camden Borough... might be able to get them in someplace off of this address. Suggestions?

luluT12 Fri 25-Apr-14 17:35:57

I wish it was 350k! 3,500 pcm.

mary21 Fri 25-Apr-14 17:36:34 nearest school Richmond park academy up and coming school. All local primaries/excellent.

mary21 Fri 25-Apr-14 17:40:36

Sorry just seen Camden. Maybe enquire at Henrietta Barnett school for eldest or if catholic St Michael's both select on ability. Out of London chelmsford also has grammar schools and a short ride into Liverpool St station

LIZS Fri 25-Apr-14 17:43:01

Think you've been misled re. iq selection . Many private and some state secondary schools (grammar) are selective based on 11+ exams comprising a combination of maths, English , Verbal reasoning and /or non Verbal Reasoning , others have ability tiers so will take a certain percentage from each performance band , but this irrelevant when you are applying out of the normal intake times.

saintlyjimjams Fri 25-Apr-14 17:47:15

Grammar schools allocate on the basis of selection tests (the 11 plus) NOT IQ. If you want your child to sit the 11 plus in year 6 they'll need to be entered soon - most 11 plus exams take place around Sptember.

mary21 Fri 25-Apr-14 17:55:39

Re oldest and grammar schools. Its/waiting list and if a place comes up offered to highest scorer on test (at Henrietta Barnet ) I assume other schools are similar.

luluT12 Fri 25-Apr-14 18:15:33

Thanks. I think I will be too late to test her, if test doesn't happen until September and she needs to have started school by then. I will just have to find the best school regardless of scores.

LIZS Fri 25-Apr-14 18:21:08

No the 11+ test in September would only apply to your middle child not the elder one . For her it is a matter of hoping one of the selectives will have a space in the relevant year group and assess her but that is unlikely to even be an option until you are living at a local address and there may well be a waiting list held already.

Your middle child could register now to take a test this Autumn, for entry in Sept 2015 as she'd spend Year 6 at primary, but that may not leave you much time to prepare for it. Not all areas/boroughs have selective state schools anyway.

saintlyjimjams Fri 25-Apr-14 18:25:52

Yes sorry the 11 plus is taken at the beginning of year 6 (when most kids are ten)

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