Areas with outstanding state and independent co-ed secondary schools, outside of London yet commutable to London(17 Posts)
Hi, please help - I need to move my family out of zone three London for a garden and more space etc etc, the usual stuff. I have a 2 year old boy and a 4 year boy. We wish to move to a commutable area where there are both good state and independent co-ed secondary school options. Another factor is that we can't be more than an hours drive from Leatherhead. I like the look of Farnham but can't find any local independent secondaries. Any advice gratefully received!
Only independent secondary very near Farnham is Frensham a Heights, which is a bit alternative. There is King Edwards in Witley which might be drivable, or the Royal school in Haslemere. Or schools like RGS Guildford which is boys only or Salesian Farnborough.
The state schools are pretty good.
Reigate? Commutable to London - but the trains are better from nearby Redhhill. Has a good co-ed Independent secondary (Reigate Grammar). The state school is also good. Or Caterham?
If you move around Caterham/Reigate you have a number of top boys schools around Whitgift /Trinity and Reigate Grammar and Caterham School. Reigate School is Ofsted outstanding and Reigate college is apparently excellent as well. Leatherhead would be under an hour. there are a number of lovely prep schools in the area as well. Reigate St Mary's, mickelfield, hawthorns, Oakhyrst.
Is Guildford do-able to Leatherhead?
3 good/outstanding state secondaries - 1 catholic if that is of interest.
The v good RGS but very academically selective. Other than that Reeds, Cranleigh, St. John's Leatherhead, Churchers Petersfield, King Edwards Witley (morning bus from Guildford)
Thank you everyone for your feedback, it's much appreciated. I don't think I can get much more house and garden for my money in Guildford so had kind of ruled that out, but may look again. I like the idea of Reigate and have done some quick Google searches so will explore that area more, thank you African and Merlot. I will investigate Frensham Heights more Mummytime, I had discounted it as I thought it may be a bit alternative for us. Thanks again.
I loved Frensham but it was too alternative for my son. You can get nice houses in Guildford - or look at Godalming. For Guildford people tend to either decide to go private so buy in a nice area but not in catchment for the "best" states or decide to go state and buy in those areas. Private schools tend to have very high fees (and be single sex), so people who go there either have to compromise on house or are very very high earners or have some other way of paying fees.
Leatherhead area is actually right up your street!!
Cheaper than Guildford, lovely countryside, close enough to Kingston or Guildford for top notch shopping, close to M25 and airports
For good schools Bookham is worth a look- Howard of Effingham a top notch state school, all the primaries in Bookham feed into it
Ashtead, Leatherhead, Dorking, Bookham?
All good. Leatherhead high street is a bit depressing - but you wouldn't live in the middle of the high street, would you? And as homebythe sea says, the countryside is gorgeous, and it would be so convenient.
Ashtead is a great place to live. Ask me how I know.....
Dunno what your taste in private schools is, but for state school, north Hampshire : Bohunt / Wavell catchments are doable, or further down the rail line towards Winohester
Hi again everyone, thanks all. Mummytime - that's good advice re Guildford. Bookham and Leatherhead are also worth investigating, thanks to those who suggested, and why is Ashtead so good please!
I live in Farnham used to live in Ashtead and my sister lives in Bookham! So I have some perspective.
The state secondaries in Farnham are good as they are all above national average in results but they only go to 16 - the children move to sixth form colleges and the two best are Farnborough and Alton - both with really great national level profiles, I believe.
As mummytime says, Frensham heights is the only independent secondary in Farnham but it is alternative. I've known lots of happy children there, but it wouldn't have suited us.
My own kids all went to the independent schools in Guildford - there are boys and girls schools in the national top 10 academically. Other great alternatives exist locally and there are buses to Lord Wandsworth, st Nicholas, Salesian, Farnborough hill and more. There are lots of options and something for everyone.
But I've said it before on here - if you have a choice, and are planning on sending your kids to the Guildford schools, for their sake, live on the up train line from Guidlford. Direct trains from east Horsley and Claygate take a fraction of the time that the Farnham travel options take ( 2 changes for the girls). That said, mine have always loved the train travel.
The Howard at Effingham is also a great school but you have to be careful where you live - there was a big brouhaha a couple of years back as whole villages lost out on places, so you'd want to check that out if that was your chosen school.
Other schools accessible from Ashtead, say, would be Thursfield at Leatherhead, where I've known very happy friends' children or St Andrews. And private options include Freeman's at Ashtead, Epsom College, or St Johns. All of those also easily reached from Bookham.
So lots of great school options from any of those places. So I think it'll depend on what kind of town you want to live in - Ashtead to me now feels like outer London - not necessarily a bad thing - good access to London is important to me too. Bookham has more fields. And there are even more green spaces by the time you get to Farnham. And Farnham is not too far out at all - I drive to London every Saturday and it takes exactly one hour to Kensington door to door. And I drove to Leatherhead today and that takes about 40 minutes.
So let us know what you decide and any specific questions, bat them this way!
I would recommend Farnham for state secondary schools (and primary schools). People go for the Guildford schools generally if they want independent education, though there is lots of choice, as suggested above. If you want co-ed, it is not as easy, however.
There is often a big price premium around popular state schools and shrinking catchment distances, v expensive to pay both housing premium and fees, people seem to do one or the other.
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