Advice on moving to new area and secondary(26 Posts)
Help hubbie has a job offer in a completely new area too far to commute. We currently live in Cumbria and DS is in year 7 and is very happy at a local grammar school and DD in year 6 has a place at a secondary school with a good reputation for September. I contacted the LEA and apparently most of the good schools are already over subscribed so their seems little point moving to an area in the catchment area of a good school if their are no places. Any advice appreciated I don't want to consider a move if the children's school situation is so uncertain and I could end up with both children in a new area in a big city at totally different schools.
Bootle in Liverpool. But we don't have to live in Bootle.
Any takers would really like hypothetical advice. If we are to seriously consider a move to Liverpool and all the better schools are already over subscribed wondering if we are just left with the dregs of schools no one wants to send their kids to or whether moving into the catchment area of one or two of the better schools may influence our choice of schools. Obviously the kids would be in year 7 and year 8 respectively so quite young to be trekking to and have from school in an unknown area especially if the journey ends up being some distance away and the area is maybe not the best (due to a late move).
I'm not in that area but here are some basic points: the LA has to find your DC places; you can apply now from where you live and the when you move you will move up the waiting lists for the schools you want; you can appeal for a place at a school you prefer to the one offered.
People do win appeals, especially after year 3.
I live in the SE and pretty much every school is full/oversubscribed but new students get into my DCs very oversubscribed school on a pretty regular basis, via appeal or "fair access protocol".
Bootle is in Sefton LA and if you live north of Bootle then there are good schools with places. Many people travel from Crosby (places in most high schools), Formby (both high schools are full ) or Southport (places in a number of schools) and there is a good rail service to Bootle. Maghull is also worth considering again places available. Suggest you ring or email Sefton Admissions Team who are very helpful.
Liverpool is more difficult re secondary schools as the popular ones are very oversubscribed.
Thanks Sefton Lass I will try that. Can you recommend any good areas as a starting point to look at houses and secondary schools. My husband currently has over an hours drive to work as it is, so we don't need to be particularly close to Bootle. I don't know Liverpool at all but we are going down for a look around next week. Any advice would be gratefully received.
I live north of Bootle and know many people who like Crosby, Formby and Southport. All great areas to bring up a family. All easily within an hours commute of Bootle.
Parts of Liverpool are nice but tend to have difficult to get into schools.
Could also go East which is nearer the M6 and there are lots of villages such as Burscough, Parbold, as well as the market town of Ormskirk. All well worth a look.
Would avoid Knowsley (East of Liverpool) schools have poor reputation.
Thanks I was wondering about Crosby from various searches but have never visited also wondering about living in an area near the Blue Coat grammar or Aigberth or however you write it?
What about Southport? Or Ormskirk? Even Penwortham on the South side of Preston? They have grammar schools on the Wirral, but you'd have tunnel fees to pay from there.
Thanks all. I am really not sure yet Paddy I originally thought hubbie would live down there Mon-Fri if he gets the job. But obviously running two homes won't be cheap and we'd miss him midweek but he obviously couldn't commute a 2.5-3 hour journey to and from work each day. My DS in a local grammar school and loves it and DD all set to go to local secondary school with the vast majority of her primary school friends in September. I work part time and we have a big dog who had lots of lovely walks on his doorstep. Either decision will be hard but just at the considering stage.
It's a tough one! Obviously Liverpool is a big city, albeit a great one (in my opinion). But it would be a massive culture shock to move there from a rural area like Cumbria. Add to the mix the chance that the good schools are over-subscribed and you'd be running the risk of DS moving from a grammar school which he loves to a completely different one. My DS is at a grammar school (not far south of where you are) and I don't think I could bring myself to move him
Yes Paddy it would be a much easier move for my daughter as everyone would be starting a fresh. My son loves the grammar school has settled in really well and has a good group of friends who are all fairly competitive in class but all like some fun and friendly banter outside of the class room. I have a friend from years back whose son didn't do very well in his 11 plus. He is year 7 and is desperate to get into the grammar. His older brother is already there and he lives close by. But he has been on the waiting list nearly a year.
However, we are a close family and may struggle being apart so their is no right answer for us. Hubbies work has dryed up so we will be struggling to maintain life in Cumbria in the not too distant future.
Where do you live Paddy?
Agree with Paddy that it is a huge step. Feel that it will be very difficult to get a good school for both your children. Bluecoat is the only grammar school serving the whole of the Liverpool area and fiercely competitive to get into (takes the top 150 in the exam). Would check with the school about in year admission possibilities. Schools around that area are generally very oversubscribed. Aigburth is a nice area and the community school (Calderstones) is also very popular. The commute to Bootle would not be as good as from the north. Timing wise, if you moved fairly quickly you could appeal for your DD as they are heard in the Summer Term.
Thanks Sefton lass, his interview is next week so hands are tired till then and have a house to sell here. Mr laid back alternates between waiting and seeing even if he gets the job and or moving at a later date. But I feel once he has had the interview if he's offered it time is of the essence to decide even if we rent down there. I don't know where you stand about applying for a school without a postcode and how do you decide on where you would like to live without knowing which of the better schools still have places?
You need to check the admissions criteria for any schools you are interested in. Most allocate places (after looked after children and siblings) on the basis of distance. Waiting lists are held in the same order. So, even if a school does not have an immediate vacancy, if you live closer than others on the waiting list you will move ahead of them on the list.
If you apply without a confirmed address in the new area, they will use your current address and (unless there's a space and so you get the place anyway) this will probably mean you're very low on the waiting list. You'd then move up the list when you have an address in the area.
Appealing for a place is by no means a certainty, but being in a new area and needing to settle and make local friends is one element you can use in any appeal.
It is very difficult to arrange things so that you can move area and know in advance that you have two school places lined up.
It would probably only be possible if you applied from where you currently live to a school that always has spaces in every year group (so likely to be in either a tricky location or a less desirable school overall). And even then you'd need to be able to move very quickly once offered the places because they won't hold them open indefinitely.
What normally happens is that people move and then apply straight away but perhaps having done some research in advance. For example, if it is possible to move to an area with a number of good schools, this gives you a better chance of getting into an acceptable school overall than moving somewhere with one very famous and sought after state school but where all the rest are far less good.
If you have a particular school in mind and can move close to it (where admissions policy says distance is the deciding factor) you can also play a longer game of accepting any place offered but waiting on the waiting list for the school you really want and hope it doesn't take too long. In those instances, bigger schools in urban areas are better as they generally have more turnover.
Thanks Tiggy and panel chair those weren't really the answers I wanted bit thought that maybe the case. I have not been in this position before and don't really want to be or know how the protocol/systems work. We have been fortunate in Cumbria as we live in a nice area in catchment for a good primary school and good comp and not to far from a good grammar. Unfortunately the two or three schools I plucked out in Liverpool were all oversubscribed.
Whilst it is disheartening to find a school you like is oversubscribed, that is only a snapshot of one day. In urban areas especially, people come and go all the time.
So even if Year 8 for example is full today, 5 people may well leave before Christmas. The bigger the school and the busier the area, the more likely this tends to be.
And waiting lists are never first come, first served. If you move to live within a reasonable distance of a school or schools you like, you will be placed above other people already on those lists who live further out and therefore stand a reasonable chance of getting a place.
Of course it would be nicer to be able to move house and have a place ready and waiting for you and not have to use an interim school in the meantime but hopefully it wouldn't be for too long and many people find that they actually like the interim schools they are given anyway - sometimes to the point of not moving schools when a place comes up on the lists. And some people get lucky and get a desirable school straight away - if a place comes up a week after you move and you're top of the list for example.
Brighteyes I am in the Preston area and DS goes to Lancaster Grammar. Lots of decent schools round here but probably slightly too far a commute to Bootle. All my family come from the Bootle area funnily enough, but we left.
Tiggy makes a good point that things change, but it would be such a shock spending time in an inner city school having moved from rural Cumbria, even if it was only for a short time.
Thanks Paddy one of his ideas was moving family to Lancaster so DS could still get train to his existing grammar and hubbie would commute from there but I think it's a nonsense idea and my DS would be even more tired and grumpy than they are now.
I must admit I like Lancaster a lot and can definitely speak highly of the grammars there! DS commutes to Lancaster every day, it takes about 40 minutes on the bus
Still no further forward but need to make a decision ASAP whether hubbie lives away for 4 nights a week long term we would miss him and costly paying both mortgage/bills and BB costs. Or we all move down but still unsure re areas. We had a whistle stop tour of Liverpool and think for us it may be too much of a culture shock as its so big, worry for the kids safety especially if they have to trek a cross Liverpool to and from school and could both end up at different schools. We liked Crosby beach but the houses we drove past and liked were way out of our price range and worry about having little choice of secondary schools plus the cheaper less nice ones seemed to be bordering on Crosby (but may not have been Crosby) looked less nice to live in but seemed a bit too close for comfort to rougher areas. We then drove to Formby the sun was shining and the high street seemed to have a happy community feel and on first impressions we loved it but were only there an hour so need a return visit if it's worth it? But again house prices were expensive so we would have to move to a much smaller property. Southport seems to have more house for your money but I am sure there are better areas than we passed through? Anyone able to offer any help or advice? On Formby Crosby on what it's really like for community spirit at night or in the winter? Also are there many older kids living there who attend Range or Formby High or is it mainly older people living there with kids being shipped in for school from lots of more remote areas. As my idea of a move was a short commute for hubbie, kids to be able to walk to and from school safely with possible friends on the door step and my finding a part time job once we are all settled and we all live happily ever after. Thanks and sorry for rambling.
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