relocating to Devon - secondary school advice(17 Posts)
We are looking to relocate to the Exeter area (within 30-40 mins drive of Exeter, but this can be flexible). We have no set location (DH travels for work; I will work from home), and we're really struggling to even narrow it down to an area.
DS is year 1, and originally I was asking about primaries (apologies for multiple postings.....), but it seems to me that there are so few secondary schools that maybe that's the way to narrow down the area. DS is vey bright (currently doing yr 2 English & yr 3 maths). We're looking for somewhere that could continue to challenge him academically, but that is nurturing and welcoming (he can be a little shy, and is currently in a lovely small village school). Although obviously we're looking a long way ahead, but where's good and where to avoid??
Any help & advice gratefully received, we're currently in Cornwall so can make frequent recces, just feeling a bit daunted by the choice!
Actually make that within about 10 miles of the centre of Exeter......turns out you can get a long way on a motorway in 30 mins!
If you want something small and nurturing, give Exmouth a wide berth; the comp is enormous. Okehampton is a good comprehensive in West Devon (25 miles from Exeter on A30), and there's a small comp (about 600) where a couple of my PGCE group had placements, which was cosy and rural... began with a C, not Chagford.
Might be worth checking out South Dartmoor Community College in Ashburton?
Ignoring Torbay/Plymouth due to time constraints - the A38 etc routes are frequently messy, there's just one grammar school in Devon. Otherwise check carefully for subjects offered at GCSE, you may struggle to get the standard academic choices in some rural schools. Of the non grammar state schools Queen Elizabeth College Crediton had an ok reputation as did Clyst Vale. I didn't get the impression that many were oversubscribed outside Exeter and logistics would be more of a determining factor for school choices than anything else - If you're in the middle of the catchment for Okehampton college the nearest other secondaries would be Tavistock, Crediton or Chulmleigh, none of which are exactly close. Closer in to Exeter obviously more demand so potentially more oversubscription. All the Exeter secondary schools fed to Exeter college for A level.
Somewhere like North Tawton or Bow would give some choice if you could sort school transport yourself - Chulmleigh, Crediton and Okehampton would all be more or less equidistant but school transport would only cover the catchment school.
I'd expect most of the village primaries to be small and friendly tbh - the feel of the schools would probably match the feel of the village...
I went to Cullompton Community College (13 years ago!!) and it was an ok school. Doesn't look like much but I came out with top grades. Don't know what it's like now. There's also another school up the road in Uffculme which was always seen as a slightly posher school but I think that's just because they wore blazers! Tiverton high school has a bad reputation but I've never been there. There is a private school in Tiverton called Blundells which is supposed to be very good. We played South Dartmoor school in sports and they always seemed very friendly back then.
Sorry I know that info is a tad outdated!!
Forgot to add Cullompton is right on the motorway, takes about 25-30 mins to get to Exeter City centre.
Clyst Vale was a good school at the time too
Can't recommend Clyst Hydon primary school enough - it was and still is an absolutely amazing school. It's very small though
Either crediton (queen Elizabeth) or chulmleigh academy have pretty good reputations, and the area between the two and catchments are stunning places to live. Housing also much more reasonable than south or east of Exeter. Travel into Exeter is between 20 and 45 mins (from crediton to chulmleigh) along a377 although distance not far, tractors and cyclists can slow you down!
Based purely on Performance - Colyton Grammar School?
For secondary try the one in Ottery or Uffculme. Or south Dartmoor.
Check out the grades on (I think ) the bbc website. The first two get very good results. Or Kingsbridge, although probably too far from Exeter, also gets good results.
Plus there are grammar schools. Torquay and Colyton have grammars and I think there are others.
We won't actually be commuting into Exeter - in fact anywhere but....I'll be going to Cornwall once a week (ish), and DH travels East / North / West, but we were thinking we'd probably use the facilities of the city quite a lot (moving from the back end of nowhere ), but commutability to Exeter itself not too important, but to anywhere else (major routes) probably is.
I'd we'd rather have somewhere nice to live with the right schooling than be held by distance from Exeter.........this should be a dream position to be in, but it seems that for us too much choice is just confusing!
Sounds brilliant. I would say go on secondary catchment plus transport links. Both road and rail. I used to live in Devon and it's a beautiful county. Loads of lovely places to live!
If it's transport links Uffculme is close to M5 and the train lines north to bristol or east to London Paddington. Ottery school is closer to honiton and the a30 and a303 plus a slower trainline to Waterloo.
If you want to live in a village I would go to Feniton or West Hill, both have excellent primary schools. If he is very bright he can then go on to Colyton. I think both villages (West Hill definantly, Feniton I think) are in catchment for Kings in Ottery, also very good.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.