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Areas of UK with less pressure on secondary school places

(51 Posts)
lostntranslation Mon 30-Oct-17 20:09:22

Does anyone know if there is any easy way to find areas of the UK that have plenty of (good or better!) school spaces available.

We are considering a move to a cheaper part of the uk (currently home counties) and schools are an important factor. I have one child currently yr 8 in a 'good' school and one child yr 6 who I have just applied for the same school.

We are looking to move before the next academic yr (probably spring) so I am worried my youngest wont get a school place as all the yr 7 places will of already been allocated.

So I am interested in pockets of the uk where there are plenty of good schools and I could be confident of getting them into a decent school.

I looked at Dorset and was told the county council consider a reasonable travelling distance 1 hr so they could dump you in a rubbish school absolutely miles away. Don't know if this is the same for all county councils.

So those of you in the know, where would you head for school places (and houses costing less than half a million for a 3 bed semi!!)

Thanks in advance.

Antonia87 Mon 30-Oct-17 20:14:06

Wales! No one sending their kids to private school and many schools have pass rates comparable with private schools. Check it out. Four bed detached house in Powys £275. Semi in great school catchment in Cardiff £325. No race for school places either.

lostntranslation Mon 30-Oct-17 20:24:42

Thanks Antonia I will have a look. I considered near the border not far from Chester area but I read on a forum that the secondary schools were not very good! The ofsted reports look fine though so it shouldn't put me off. I hate rain though so don't know if I would get used to the climate??

lostntranslation Mon 30-Oct-17 20:28:06

And no race for school places sounds marvellous! We live in an area where people go to crazy lengths to get into a just ok school.

Eolian Mon 30-Oct-17 20:30:39

I live in Cumbria (South Lakes). We moved here from Oxfordshire when oldest dc was 9. Houses are cheaper and there are good schools locally. It does rain a hell of a lot though!

Shenanagins Mon 30-Oct-17 20:31:38

If you move to Scotland you are guaranteed a place in your catchment school so you can easily find out the good schools and move into the catchment area.

lostntranslation Mon 30-Oct-17 20:42:34

The Lakes would be lovely but yes its the rain that makes me think twice! I grew up in Lancashire so I should be used to it. I haven't considered Scotland before but that sounds great for schools so I will have a look. It is all pointing to a move back up north so far as everywhere I have looked at down south has been full of oversubcribed schools.

Ta1kinPeece Mon 30-Oct-17 20:46:18

Considering the amount of "out of catchment" kids at all the local schools
and the fact that the crap school has over 400 empty places
I would not consider central southern Hampshire to be over subscribed.
The schools are all comps so admissions are simple
and I believe that over 90% of kids get their first choice (out of 3).
Its a catchment system so admissions are pretty transparent.

lostntranslation Mon 30-Oct-17 20:55:09

That's the problem I have though we wont be moved in time for the application deadline so all the school places will be allocated for yr 7 by the time we have moved.

So if a school gives places to out of catchment kids and then is full we will get given the crap school that has 400 places even if we are in catchment for the better school.

Unfortunately due to work our move is just happening at the wrong time for school places.

Ta1kinPeece Mon 30-Oct-17 21:04:46

Not if you move into Hampshire
as the crap school is in a different LEA
but lots of its pupils are in Hampshire schools grin

Have a look at the catchments for Romsey School, Mountbatten School, Wildern School, Wyvern School, Swanmore School, Toynbee School
and maybe Perins, Petersfield, Henry Beaufort .....

lostntranslation Mon 30-Oct-17 21:07:08

Ah Ok thanks Ta1kinPeece I will have a look at those

notyummy Mon 30-Oct-17 21:42:45

Lincolnshire has good schools and mostly inexpensive housing. However it is a grammar system so you would need to be confident that they would pass the 11 plus, or live near one of the good non selective comps (of which there are quite a few. ) Sir William Robertson or Priory Lincoln both get great results and aren't selective. Will Rob you don't have to live that close. Priory you need to be closer.

TeenTimesTwo Mon 30-Oct-17 21:47:14

I'm not sure Talkin has realised you are out of normal admission round. Romsey & Mountbatten may take 50% from out of catchment, but they will be full . So yes, you could get allocated rubbish school further away. However there tends to be churn, so if you lived in catchment for schools she mentions then you could expect to get in at some point off the waiting list.
(Unless I'm missing something, which I could well be).
Plus Hants may not be much cheaper than where you are now...

Ta1kinPeece Mon 30-Oct-17 21:57:45

I'm well aware that the OP has missed the admission round
but schools like Toynbee almost always has spaces
which is odd cos it gets great results from some kids

So long as the OP is not too near Basingstoke and not waiting on Thornden, its worth checking.

And yes, Hampshire is expensive. So is most of the UK !

TeenTimesTwo Mon 30-Oct-17 22:06:03

Fair enough.

unfortunateevents Mon 30-Oct-17 23:17:50

Not sure Hampshire will be any cheaper than whatever part of the Home Counties you are in though. We have considered moving there from Surrey and couldn't see any difference in prices.

lostntranslation Tue 31-Oct-17 12:32:46

Looking last night Hampshire in places is marginally cheaper than where we live but not much in it. Probably true of most of the south of England though.

Smellylittleorange Tue 31-Oct-17 12:46:39

My part of Hampshire is much cheaper than home counties - I know because I moved from my home area as we could not afford to live there! The school DD goes to is 11 miles away and is one of those mentioned earlier.

Antonia87 Tue 31-Oct-17 13:15:24

Doesnt matter if you miss admissions in Powys, I believe . As long as you are in the catchment as there are so few secondary schools and they are small . The rain isnt that bad and the pretty views make up for it!

FiveGoMadInDorset Tue 31-Oct-17 13:18:19

Rethink Dorset, each area has its own catchment secondary school, ours is 7 miles away but can take up to an hour to get there from some areas as it goes through the villages to pick up, alternatively yu can drive it in 12 minutes. it is very difficult to get into a secondary school out of catchment

lostntranslation Tue 31-Oct-17 13:19:46

Also slightly off topic but it's also the vibe of the area I want to get away from as well as housing costs. Its mega competitive and materialistic parenting.

If you don't have the latest version of iPhone you are poor, if you don't have any version of iPhone you are a weirdo. That goes for kids at school as well as parents. Also brand new 4x4s are compulsory if you want to fit in around here and tutoring from beginning of yr3. Don't get me wrong I don't mind how anyone wants to live their life but I feel there is a real pressure especially with school aged kids. I would like to think other parts of the UK are simpler and more diverse.

lostntranslation Tue 31-Oct-17 13:22:43

Thanks smelly, Antonia and five! Lots to think about there.. need to do more research

GraciesMansion Tue 31-Oct-17 13:40:14

Durham has lots of good schools and is relatively cheap. Lovely place to live.

lostntranslation Tue 31-Oct-17 13:46:25

Durham is an old stomping ground for me - lovely place. Although I am not so keen on some of the surrounding areas. I am sure there are lots of lovely areas around also though.

karriecreamer Tue 31-Oct-17 14:48:09

North Lancashire/South Cumbria have loads of great schools and is quite a cheap area, though employment prospects are limited outside public sector (hence why it's a cheap area!)

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