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Moving to Teddington or Tunbridge Wells......any thoughts.

(15 Posts)
divamunchkin Wed 06-Jan-16 14:27:00

Having procrastinated about moving further out of London we have identified these two areas as possible places to settle.

We have a yr1 and yr5 so need to think about both primary and secondary schools. Does anyone have any knowledge about schools in both these areas. We are mainly concerned with secondary. How easy they are to get in to/ are they oversubscribed/ ones to avoid.

Also if you live in any of these areas are you happy bringing up Tweens there?

Any info would be a great help.

MuddhaOfSuburbia Wed 06-Jan-16 14:30:58

<shamelessly placemarking on your thread as I want to move to Twells when the littlests are starting 6th form>

R0nJ0n Wed 06-Jan-16 14:43:48

Tunbridge Wells primaries are currently oversubscribed, it stands to reason that in the next few years the secondaries are going to have the same problem. It's also is an eleven plus area, off the top of my head there are two boys grammar schools, Skinners and Tunbridge Wells Boys Grammar, one girls grammar, Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar, and one mixed grammar, St Gregories, which is Catholic but the intake isn't exclusively Catholic. As far as I know all the grammar schools are fairly highly regarded.

There's also Bennet Memorial, a Cof E comprehensive which strongly prioritises church going children many of who come by bus from outside the area but is by all accounts a decent school if you can get in, and Skinners Kent academy, which is fairly new and I know little about.

Apart from the academy which I have never heard anything about, either good or bad, none of the above schools are ones to be avoided.

Tunbridge Wells is a decent place for tweens, plenty of clubs to join and big enough that you're not living in everyone's pocket without being too big. HTH

eatyourveg Wed 06-Jan-16 16:10:57

St Gregs is not a grammar its a comprehensive - there are no mixed grammars in West Kent. Some of the non grammars however have a grammar stream.

If you want a non grammar mixed secondary in the T/W area which isn't church affiliated other than Skinners Academy then your only options are Hugh Christie in Tonbridge and Mascalls in Paddock Wood neither of which would make my short list. Some T/W students go down to Crowborough to the Beacon - no idea how that rates though

Skinners Kent Academy is only new by name and status. Since moving here it is currently on its 3rd reincarnation although this latest is much more promising than the previous secondary moderns it replaced

Muddha 6th forms are much easier to get into. Several grammars are co-ed post 16.

lemsipOclock Wed 06-Jan-16 16:28:32

Diva I know Teddington well and you can't go wrong for primaries - they're all excellent, though there's a lot of competition to get into them, and a lot of the places are at faith schools, so there's more choice if you're a regular church goer or can become one.

Stanley Primary is easiest to get into as it's the biggest (4FE). Collis is expanding to 4 FE too, but has a tiny catchment and house prices around it are eye watering, and I suppose they'll be having building work for a while.

For secondary, Teddington School is well thought of and accessible to most of Teddington, but not all of it, and the new kid on the secondary block is Turing House, which I've only heard extremely positive things about from parents so far. They're supposed to be moving a couple of miles down the road in 3 years time but will still have a catchment area in Teddington. There's also Grey Court over the river if you're not squeamish about an unlit woodland commute on winter afternoons (or the alternative of a long bus/train commute).

If you have girls then Waldegrave is an option if you're close enough. You can also access Twickenham Academy and Hampton academy from Teddington, though Ofsted says that they Require Improvement. Again if you're religious there's more choice: St Richard Reynolds RC in central Twickenham and for CofE there's Christs or Bishop Wand which are accessible by train.

The area is excellent for Tweens: loads of activities and easy to navigate by public transport. Relatively low crime rate, and lots of green space.

There's always lots of school chat on the Richmond local thread if you need more detail.

divamunchkin Wed 06-Jan-16 17:20:27

Thanks everyone. This is really really helpful and definitely food for thought.
Lemsip - your extra info is great.

R0nJ0n Wed 06-Jan-16 17:24:33

Apologies, I thought St Gregs was a grammar, as they say, every day is a school day.

Teddingtonmum1 Wed 06-Jan-16 19:40:33

Hey I used to live in teddington but had school fees to pay as I wasn't happy with the state options , so moved out to the coast. Teddington is great for primary school not so great for secondary. Only choice really is teddington which is a good school but it's a massive school , & Turing is brand new so no track recorded . The problem in richmond for secondary schools is the tiny catchment areas. Unless you are living literally next door ( I lived less than 100 meters from collis to get a place ). But to be fair it's probably like this everywhere now !!.

slicedfinger Thu 07-Jan-16 08:47:56

I don't know T Wells at all, but teddington is a great place to live, if property prices don't put you off. Definitely head to the Richmond schools thread on local though. I think they are on their 6th or 7th thread now!

MuddhaOfSuburbia Thu 07-Jan-16 08:57:39

thanks that's helpful eatyourveg

ShellingPeasAgain Thu 07-Jan-16 12:22:30

Something to think about if your eldest is year 5, is that the 11+ exams are sat in early September of year 6 and you need to register by June of year 5 as it's an opt in system. Most people do prep/tutoring and I would advise you do at least familiarisation papers so that DCs have some idea of what to expect.

I have a DS at Skinners' which is a super-selective boys grammar. He has done incredibly well there and it's a good school. The Boys' grammar, and Girls' grammar school are also good and take children based on distance from the school, not score, so if you live close enough you'll get a place provided you pass. Just be aware that the boundary cut off for Girls' is around 1 mile in the first intake. Girls who miss out on distance can go to Weald of Kent in Tonbridge.

The church comps have excellent GCSE results but have a religious criteria which needs to be fulfilled. Bennett (CofE) is more difficult to get a place than St Gregs (Catholic).

Skinners' Kent Academy, as PP have said, is in its third incarnation. It's an academy run by the some company as The Skinners' School (the grammar) and has had a huge amount of investment recently. It's vastly improved from the days when it was Tunbridge Wells High School.

Beacon Academy in Crowborough is an option - it's in East Sussex so living in TWells you wouldn't get priority but they do have children from TWells there. As you would expect from a non-selective school the results aren't comparable with the TWells grammar but they have a good streaming/setting programme and their higher achieving pupils do well.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Thu 07-Jan-16 12:26:42


Skinners is just selective isn't it, whereas TWGS is catchment and selective isn't it?

ShellingPeasAgain Thu 07-Jan-16 17:54:26

TreadSoftly - Skinners is just on score so take children regardless of where they live until tie break on distance if scores the same. TWGGS has 20 places set aside for high scorers (governors' places) but they have all come from within Kent for the last umpteen years as it still comes down to distance if scores are tied, so no out of county places for some time, at least as far as I know.

lemsipOclock Thu 07-Jan-16 18:21:40

diva if super-selective grammars are your thing then I should have mentioned that Tiffin is an option from Teddington too (though it's very super-selective).

lemsipOclock Thu 07-Jan-16 19:26:10

This is a useful map for Teddington diva, from the Turing House website showing the location of all the secondary schools in the area and if you tick the boxes in the key it also shows you offer-day distances for some of the other secondaries:

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