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Schools (probably independent) in Hertfordshire/North East London mixed/boys

(22 Posts)
schoolsearch19 Tue 29-Mar-16 13:41:26

I am just starting to think about secondary schools for DS who is in year 3 in a central London state primary. We are open to moving out of London to St Albans, Hertford, or along the A10 corridor (Cheshunt/Waltham Abbey/Enfield?). We have budgeted for private school but would not be averse to him going state. I just want to research as much as possible as to get all ducks in a row for moving school/house/area I feel is going to take some time.

So what schools should I look at? I really want them to have their own transport from our chosen location. Ones I have on the list already are City of London (without a move), Forest, Bancroft, Haileybury, Bishops Stortford College, Haberdashers, St Albans Boys.

I am put off by the Saturday school at many of the day/boarding ones, but do like the look of them apart from that!

Any I have missed? And if you have children at any of them, where do you live and how easy is it logistically?

mary21 Tue 29-Mar-16 18:00:33

Chigwell
St Edmunds Ware
St Columbia. St Al bans
Dame Alice Owens (state)
Kings Rely
Aldenham
Or if you stay put Dulwich schools, whit gift foundation schools, latymer upper.
Also north London rather than north east Mill Hill

mary21 Tue 29-Mar-16 18:02:33

That should read Kings Ely not rely!

Maplestirrup Tue 29-Mar-16 18:08:26

St Edmunds, Ware
Haileybury, Hertford outskirts
Duncombe, Hertford, just outside
Bishops Stortford College
St Nicholas, Harlow (but I understand they run a bus service to the school from the A10 corridor
Heathmount, Watton At Stone

Decorhate Wed 30-Mar-16 06:42:08

If you are definitely going private & you want your dc to be able to get to school independently then the first priority is to find a school that will suit them best.
If you are even thinking of state then I personally would avoid the Cheshunt/Waltham Cross/Enfield area. Personally know many families who have moved out of that area at secondary stage to access the state schools further west or who are bussing their children out.

HalleLouja Wed 30-Mar-16 06:45:30

Harpenden has outstanding state schools though you may need to be careful where you move as there are a lack of spaces and a new school needs to be built. Not far from St Albans.

Schoolsearch19 Wed 30-Mar-16 10:46:13

Thanks folks. Just trying to get my head round it all. State is not what I want if we stay where we are now, but if I want a state secondary we need to move in year 5, and sort out primaries as well (which actually we need to do anyway, as I have a younger one too) and then rely on catchments etc. Private (if he can get in) feels like it may give us more options in terms of where to live ( and hence make it easier on the primary school choice for numnber 2) as we would then only need to be in one catchment area.

But then it probably means he will be living a fair distance from school and will need a permanent ferrying service, which is frustrating as if we stay in London I will let him on the tube solo at 11.

And (maybe a different thread) some of these options have compulsory Saturday school - anyone have experience of that?

2016IsANewYearforMe Wed 30-Mar-16 23:16:12

You should add Bancrofts (coed) to your list. A bit further on the Central line than Forest, but closer than Chigwell, and clearly more academic than either of them.

jeanswithatwist Tue 05-Apr-16 20:58:16

don't knock chigwell, bloody superb school

Ffffffftttttttt Tue 05-Apr-16 21:06:48

Agree with jeans we chose Chigwell over Bancrofts (my child got into both, plus Forest and City) because it's a fantastic all round school. The only reason Bancrofts does better on league tables is because they are more selective at 11+ and make their year 6 pass the entrance tests. Chigwell will be doing the same from 2018 and I will expect the gap to close. Children do well at all these schools -they are all fab -but it's about finding the right fit for your child.

UrgentSchoolHelp Wed 06-Apr-16 14:35:06

OP are you aware how competitive entry is for City and Habs?

Just wondering, which of those schools have Saturday school? I assume Haileybury, but which others?

I'd ask if Saturday afternoon sports are compulsory for all kids (if so, you'll be watching sports ever school day Saturday until 4pm ish) and what the pattern is for Exeats - the norm is every 3rd week for 3 days ie a Friday or a Monday off school too, however some schools may do Friday midday to Monday morning or Tuesday morning. Would this fit around your work schedules?

schoolsearch19 Wed 06-Apr-16 16:38:50

Thank you all, all comments are really useful. Urgent a long time ago I went to one of the schools you mentioned (girls) so yes am sort of aware, but imagine it has got worse. Will look further into the exeats.

2016IsANewYearforMe Wed 06-Apr-16 21:04:03

I wasn't "knocking" Chigwell. Just giving facts. Looking at the OPs initial list, it seemed odd that she wasn't checking out Bancrofts.

jeanswithatwist Wed 06-Apr-16 21:41:25

your wording implied that chigwell wasn't academic. do you have a child there? eitherway, there are plenty of extremely bright children of which a fair few have just got offers to cambridge/oxford this year. bancrofts is in a world of its own. we didn't even apply as it isn't our sort of school, too competitive/league tables obsessed although i know it is a good school.

2016IsANewYearforMe Wed 06-Apr-16 22:33:13

My DD was offered places at both Bancrofts and Chigwell. We chose neither. It's all about matching the child to the school. There is no one "best" school, just the best school for your particular child. I know several families with children at Chigwell, all of whom are very satisfied.

OVienna Thu 07-Apr-16 13:31:24

The schools mentioned in this thread cover a very wide geographic area and with the Herts schools it's not as simple as being in the catchment area for the excellent secondaries; you also need to be in a feeder primary.

Been there and done that - DD is going to one of the independent greater London schools mentioned here already but we also cast our net wide (many of the schools you are looking at too) and it was exhausting. With Year 3 you have more time to plan though...

The housing equation was a big factor for us. We found it amazing what we were going to have to pay to be in the catchment for some of these state schools in Bishops Stortford.

Haileybury runs a good bus service from various points in London/Greater London; BSC does not. You'd have to move. It's a great school though.

I think you should look at all the schools over the next year or so and also the housing costs/quality of life and weigh it all up. You may love a school but find that the moving costs/other lifestyle trade offs mean moving to be nearer to it just doesn't make any sense. Especially if you have one DC. WIth multiple sets of school fees to find the equation changes obvs.

OVienna Thu 07-Apr-16 13:39:15

sorry I see you have two DCs.

Au55ieMum Fri 03-Jun-16 05:03:29

I have been reading through all the threads related to State Hertfordshire schools. I am so thankful for everyones helpful advice.

We are moving to Hertfordshire in December 2017. Since we are moving after the school year has begun I am wondering if there is any chance of getting into Watford Girls or Parmiters. Does anyone know anything about mid-year entry?

We are relocating from Australia where our daughters are all in outstanding State schools.

Decorhate Fri 03-Jun-16 12:34:16

What school year would your dcs be in Au55iemum? I think Y7 would be the hardest to get a place - even if there is a little bit of movement after the first term there will be families already on the waiting list. You should contact Hertfordshire County Council to find out how they deal with in-year admissions - eg if you moved next door to the school would you go to the top of the waiting list?

I think in general you might fare better trying for one of the many excellent non-selective state schools.

In any case, you will definitely be allocated a place somewhere, the Council should be able to tell you which schools have spaces once you have a firm address.

hertsandessex Fri 03-Jun-16 12:51:19

Hockerill in Bishops Stortford if you are considering boarding (a good state/private half-way house) with fees around £10k per year.

228agreenend Tue 07-Jun-16 22:39:53

Au55 - you will need to contact the school's directly, to find out about their admission policies. You should also consider St Albans Girls school in St. Albans, and also the Harpenden schools.

Where exactly are you moving to?

mellicauli Thu 09-Jun-16 00:23:37

this is what would have to happen:
1) you need to be living in an address in catchment
2) you need to go on the continuing interest list
3) someone leaves the school.
4) there are no siblings or cared for people on the list
5)your child takes the test and gets a better mark than all the other candidates
6) your child is offered a place

Chances of this happening are pretty low, i think.

My experience is that Herts state schools admissions is highly competitive: people plan for years to get in the right place at the right time and people who aren't , sorry to say, find themselves at the back of the queue. This applies to the good and outstanding state non selective schools as well as the selective ones.

The council are obliged to find school places for your children but these may be not be the ones you would choose for yourself or ones that are particularly conveniently located . If you look at the Herts county council schools vacancies page you can start to judge for yourself where you would likely to be allocated.

The suggestions of stags or hockerrll aren't that much more realistic: local people want their children to go there as much as Parmiters or Watford girls.(they are different catchments). The only advantage of stags is no exam. (It is a fine school though..I went there myself some years ago).

If you can afford it, you may need to have a private option just in case..what you are doing is a bit if a gamble schools-wise.

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