Grammar schools in Milton keynes

(10 Posts)
Ashu13 Mon 25-Apr-16 23:12:41


We are planning to buy a house and also are looking for houses in Milton Keynes. My daughter is in Year 4 and I plan to prepare her for 11+ exams. Are there any grammar schools in MK, I have read posts of 2005 which say that no grammar school has the catchment in MK. Please let me know. Thanks!

zipzap Mon 25-Apr-16 23:26:40

There aren't any grammar schools in MK but children from MK can apply to go to the grammar schools in Buckingham, Aylesbury or Leighton Buzzard... There are buses that do school runs to these schools from MK - albeit parents have to pay for them.

If you do want to apply for them then don't do what I did and get caught out by the application for the entrance test. Applications need to be in at the end of the Y5 summer term. But the rest of the applications for the MK schools is all done around September/October - and certainly when I asked about what happened for looking around schools (expecting it to be in that summer term) for ds1 last year, was told everything had to wait until the start of the Autumn Term of Y6. Nobody mentioned anything about dates for grammars which I thought I'd also been talking about.

Although there are some bad not so good comprehensives in MK, there are also some good comprehensives too so it's worth checking them out. I'm lucky in that both dc are at one of the top rated (if not the top rated) junior school in MK which is fantastic, and ds1 has got a place at the top rated senior school in MK for next year, which we decided was preferable in the end instead of going for grammar school and lots of travelling.

It's definitely worth checking out the different areas for the different schools that you're interested in and the catchment areas for the different schools as it can make a massive difference to the overall experience you have of living here. However, when it's good it's a fantastic place to live!

Ashu13 Tue 26-Apr-16 00:39:20

Thank you Zip Zap.
Are you sure that children from MK are allowed in these grammar schools.
Actually my husband works in Leamington Spa and I in cambridge, now we are planning a mid point for both of us.
Milton Keynes seems to be good location wise but my girl is quite keen on grammar schools as she has a cousin's son in Solihull's grammar school to look upto.
How about Soulbury? will that be better for grammar schools as for us somewhere mid place seems okay for now.
otherwise we could just be based in Leamington spa, atleast one of us will be near to work!!

t4gnut Tue 26-Apr-16 08:42:33

Your other issue is the Milton Keynes is a really really horrible town to live in....

MillicentMargaretAmanda Tue 26-Apr-16 10:16:55

You will need to be very careful where you live in Milton Keynes. First priority at the grammars goes to in catchment kids. MK kids are not in catchment. Often they do get in on the out if catchment/distance criteria but I know of children who have passed but live too far away to be awarded place. If you definitely want a guarantee of a Bucks Grammar place if the 11+ is passed, live in Bucks....

Ashu13 Tue 26-Apr-16 10:35:11

How about Aylesbury then? please anyone from there can suggest me ...

MillicentMargaretAmanda Tue 26-Apr-16 10:57:45

You'll be fine for the grammars there but you'll need to consider what you'll do if they don't pass the 11+. Some of the upper schools in Aylesbury aren't brilliant so you'll want to make sure you are living in catchment for a better one.

zipzap Wed 27-Apr-16 00:03:14

Not sure about Soulbury - never heard of it sorry...

And I'd disagree with T4 - I think that MK can be a great place to live with kids. You need to choose your area - but that's true with pretty much every town or city you move to, there are nice bits and not-so-nice bits.

If you can find a nice bit of MK it can be fantastic. There are lots of things going on, some cost money, others don't. There's good sports clubs if your kids are sporty, there's plenty of arty stuff too. Lots of nice countryside and woods and parks both within local areas and around the outskirts. International festival every couple of years (happening again this July) with loads of different acts and events going on. Lots of history that goes back way beyond the start of MK the New City 49 years ago. Fab museums. Bletchley Park. Easy to drive around. Good quality theatre that gets lots of top shows. Indoor snow ski slope. So much more...

With regard to the grammar schools - lots of people from MK do seem to go to them but obviously they will have their cut off points. Probably best to talk to the schools themselves and find out what distance has been their furthest distance over the last few years to get an idea of how likely or not areas of MK that you're interested in are likely to be able to get a grammar place... There are definitely several dc from ds1's school (Y6) that are going to either Aylesbury or Buckingham next September so it is possible rather than guaranteed.

I think too your dd needs to work out what it is that she wants from senior school and what it is that she thinks grammar school will give her over and above comprehensive schools. Somewhere like MK that will lose a few bright kids to grammar schools and private schools but is mainly comprehensive - yes, the results are not as good as the grammars but when you look at the results of the top third of kids then they do pretty well and can offer lots of other stuff besides.

The downside of going to a grammar from MK is that there will be lots of travelling involved which might limit going to clubs after school or meeting up with friends or getting to school/home if you miss the school bus, whereas if you choose a local school then that's not an issue in the same way. I must admit when we moved here I assumed I'd be applying for grammar schools for the dc - but when the time came the negatives outweighed the positives and we think that they will be better off at one of the better secondary schools here in MK (given that we live here and aren't moving!)

And I've only been to Aylesbury a few times but I can't say that I've ever thought 'I wish we lived here' - I've always been glad to escape! DH used to go to a grammar school in Aylesbury and so knows the town and the school (well as it was in his day!) much better than I do - and he's also glad that he's not living there.

bojorojo Wed 27-Apr-16 00:46:34

Soulbury is fine. I know it and it is Bucks but I do not think it has a primary school. However, Stewkley is not far away and is much bigger and has a pretty good primary school. Not sure if it has spaces. You could also look at Winslow. It has a large primary and often has places. Children from there go to the Royal Latin School and there is a new free secondary school in Winslow, The Sir Thomas Freemantle. It is very small, so not sporty or musical, but is having new buildings and will grow as no-one likes Buckingham Secondary much. All these places have easy access to MK.

No-one likes the secondary modern schools in Aylesbury much either. A far, far better place to live is Waddesdon/Quainton for Waddesdon School or Aston Clinton/Wendover for the John Colet School in Wendover. Or Soulbury/Wing for the Cotteslowe School in Wing. I know children who live in North Marston (a very good village) who go to the Cotteslowe school. The North Marston Village school is a small primary. There is a lot of bulding scheduled for Aylesbury and surrounding areas so the distance the Bucks grammar schools recruit from may diminish if more children are selected locally.

If you live outside MK, you have to accept that you will travel to do some things but it depends what you want. My children skied at the Snow Dome but not much else. They danced, did music lessons, joined brownies, swam in our locality. The Chilterns were on our doorstep. Most people did not yearn for MK.

t4gnut Wed 27-Apr-16 09:07:00

If you live in MK you'll have to travel - nothing is reachable unless you drive, and the public transport system is woeful.

It is the most soulless awful place I've ever lived. If you have the money avoid like the plague and stick to the nice small towns/villages in beds./herts/bucks.

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