Secondary Education (& initially primary around Oxford)(6 Posts)
I am planning to move to Oxford in the summer. I am fortunate that I am a primary school teacher and so I should be able to find work wherever I live, if I don't mind commuting a bit. I am therefore trying to base my search for houses around secondary schools for my children.
I want my children (a girl and a boy), currently at primary school, to go to good secondary schools. I currently live in South London as a full-time working, single parent so visiting them all is not an option. I have been searching for weeks to try and find the best place to live for catchments and travel and I am no further on. I think I like the sound of Witney or Kiddlington, or Woodstock as the schools around have good Ousted reports. I don't want to pick the perfect area only to find I am outside of a catchment area. I am hoping that there are mums out there who can help me narrow down both areas to house hunt in, and which schools to look at. Plus if there are primary schools which I should keep in mind as they both have at least 3 years left of that....
It is a minefield so all help gratefully received.
OK. So a gather you want outside of the city rather than Oxford itself. Have you checked out south of Oxford? Would you consider Wantage too far out? Wolvercote area gets priority into Cherwell Secondary school, but the primary school in Wolvercote is v v oversubscribed so you would need to investigate the chances of getting your dc into the primary there.
The Marlborough in Woodstock and Bartholomew in Eynsham are both very good secondary schools, but check the catchments carefully – www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/content/secondary-school-applications gives you the cut-off distances for the last three years of admissions. Most of the surrounding village schools are pretty good.
I second the choice of Eynsham. Not only is Bartholomews a very good school, you also have easy access to the excellent Witney schools if for some reason you didn't want to go to Barts. Kennington has catchment status for highly desirable Matthew Arnold but alternative choices to MA are not so good. My DD is doing fantastically at Didcot Girls but I don't know much about the boys school and maybe you don't like single sex.
I'm always a bit wary of the "one school" towns, excellent as they usually are, because it doesn't always offer a suitable alternative if for instance your DS has been bullied at primary and is desperate to get away from the bullies.
I would also consider Thame which has Lord William's School. Not sure how easy it is to get into the primary schools, but worth a look.
Thame also offers you the chance to try for The Aylesbury grammar schools without having to risk the secondary moderns if they fail the 11+ .
Having to grit my teeth writing this as I'm opposed to selection but it seemed only fair to point it out!!
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