Moving for Good State Secondary - Is it Worth It??(16 Posts)
I've got myself tied in knots about secondary and hoping for any advice/ hints from those who've been there. My DD is currently in Y5 at a lovely SW London state primary, but there aren't many good secondaries nearby - or I should say good for her. Have been to look at 4 already - 2 state, 2 indie - and am left in even more confusion! Could just about scrabble together private for her but not sure that's the road we want to go down and anyway couldn't afford it for our younger DD.
She's very creative ( never without a pen and paper in her hand ) and also loves/ is good at sport. We're starting to look at moving out of London, not just for her education but also we're keen for some open space and fresh air. Looking at the Farnham / Hook area as I grew up nearby and parents live 20 mins away, but thinking that Guildford may also be good. But also reading a lot about the great schools/ villages in Tunbridge Wells area. Aargh! Don't really know where to begin, or if I'm over-thinking it. Help much appreciated
If I were somewhere where the state secondaries were rubbish and I could afford to move somewhere where they were better and still get to work etc etc then I would do so. (As it is I already live in an area of Hants where the comps are great).
However before doing this please make sure you move somewhere where you will definitely meet the admission criteria and be high enough up the list for your chosen school/schools.
Pointless to move only to discover that only children within 300m of the school get in or whatever.
Also if moving to a grammar/secondary modern area, make sure you like both options. No point moving to an area with great grammar schools if your DC doesn't get in.
Thanks TeenandTween - yes would be a nightmare to move and then not get a place. I'll have to investigate the admission criteria for each school very closely I think. Out of interest - and don't say if you'd rather not - but which area of Hants are you in with the great comps?
A bit further away from London than you are thinking (and quite probably more expensive). The Winchester-Chandlers Ford-Romsey triangle 5 very good comps at least, plus a very good 6th form college (Peter Symonds).
Schools in case you wish to look them up: Kings, Henry Beaufort, Westgate, Romsey, Mountbatten, Thornden
Thank you! I know what I'll be doing tonight hunkers down with laptop
When my dc1 was in yr5 we moved out of a grammar schools area into our current address to secure a place in a good comp for my dc1. It s the best thing that I did for my dcs and myself. It s just that knowing my dcs' schoolings are being taken care of without worrying about the 11+ distraction. Now my dc2 has 3 good comps options. But make sure you do your research so that you dcs can definitely get in the desirable comp\s. Best of luck
Just to say - you're not overthinking it - you're just worried. It's a big decision - and obviously impacts you if you're dealing with a longer commute/ longer day.
However - having said that - DH and I did opt to move to a different area of Birmingham to ensure we were securely in a good Senior school catchment in case DD1 didn't get into the two grammar schools she wanted to go to. That indeed was the case and it came to pass that our moving ensured entry to good senior school.
3 months on - she's incredibly happy there.
So from our perspective - it was the right choice.
My advice is do what feels right for you (balance your DD's school options/ where to live/ length of commute).
Totally agree with Past, it is all about school and also how the move impacts your life in terms of work/commute etc.
We moved several years ago as the outstanding primary school my sons attended fed into an ok secondary with discipline issues. So we looked locally at where we could get him into a school that had more to offer. We didn't move far, but got a bigger house. The area we are in now is cheaper because of the ok primary school, but the secondary school is outstanding. We kept the children in the outstanding primary.
The area has more local amenities, more open space etc etc so it wasn't just about the school. Ds1 started year 7 last September and absolutely loves it and is doing well. I think because he knew he wouldn't be with his friends he had time to get used to the idea.
We were very careful on the admissions process for the school he is in too. One school round here is an academy and prioritises children of staff members over some of the normal intake.
Research is the key, it is an important decision especially relocating to an area you are unfamiliar with. Having relocated in the past, local knowledge can be very useful, would you consider renting to get a feel for an area?
We did this, and you are right to put a lot of thought and consideration into it as this is important. I spent a lot of time looking into details of schools and in particular their admissions criteria and statistics, in-depth. A lot of places that looked attractive, we would have been unlikely to get into the local school. The one we chose had an old-fashioned catchment system which meant that if we lived in the catchment area, my daughter would definitely be admitted to that school. (We didn't want to move during her last year of primary school.)
The area we are now in is a much more relaxing place to bring up teenagers than in London and the greater independence they can have helps make up for the lesser facilities. My daughter in fact much prefers it here.
I can't comment on the areas you are looking at, but just look into everything that is feasible, even places that are not initially the obvious ones. Good luck.
I'm in tween's golden triangle of schools- we were renting, admittedly, so moving into the 'right' catchment was easier than selling to do so, but I'm glad we made the move.
If for no other reason, you can rest assured that you've done everything sensible within your power to help your DC along the way.
What they make of the opportunity is another issue!
I'd say yes but make sure it's also somewhere you really want to live for next 8 or so years. Sounds simple but you've got to be happy too.
Also remember catchment areas can change year on year depending on numbers so I would live well in the catchment area rather than boundaries. Also some schools want to know how long you've lived in the catchment to catch out people who rent short term solely to get into the school. You need to go through the schools admissions policies with a fine tooth comb. IME most areas in England are suffering from a lack of places in good state secondary schools
Thank you so much for all the replies. I haven't been able to check back this week because, with the discussion of possible moving and secondary, my DD has been extremely anxious and tearful, and been a
total nightmare challenging at bedtime. I hope this isn't the shape of things to come if we do indeed move out. Anyway, that's another thread!
Yes ContendedSidewinder have thought about renting and something we might consider, as don't want to panic buy.
Have been reading all the schools websites ( we're narrowing down to Robert May, Weydon, Mountbatten and still looking at others ) but they all seem to give priority to primary feeders- so perhaps our move will have to be sooner
We moved into the area you are looking at. So far we are really happy. Take a look at the Winchester schools, Thornden, Perins and Eggers in Alton.
Not in your area , a bit further west in newbury but moving for secondary has paid dividends, DS happy and we are happy. Are staying in catchment to make sure DC2 gets in too.
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