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To move or not to move...... any experience of living in Reigate / schools in Reigate v's Epsom

(13 Posts)
Lucks11 Tue 12-Jun-18 10:29:59

Hello all, I am new to Mumsnet. We currently live in Epsom, Surrey which is an expensive town with a truly outstanding state girls high school in our catchment. Our house is too small and we want to buy something bigger but don't want to take on the huge mortage that would mean here.

I am keen to move to Reigate, Surrey which also has an outstanding high school and has some more afforable housing.

My dilema is this. The school in Epsom is heads and shoulders above any other high school, but I believe our daughter will do well in any good school. Another part of me worries she will miss out on going to what is the equivalent of an almost private quality education.

Am I being silly?

LIZS Tue 12-Jun-18 16:05:20

I'm not sure which Reigate school you think is outstanding but I would caution you that getting into the better Redhill/Reigate schools is not a forgone conclusion. St Bedes in Redhill is the highest rated state school locally but the priority criteria are religious and community places limited. Reigate School has a fairly tight distance area.

musicinspring1 Tue 12-Jun-18 16:10:12

How old is your daughter ? how many years do you have before she goes in to year 7?

MinaPaws Tue 12-Jun-18 16:17:50

Do you only have daughters? We were warned off Epsom by an estate agent who admitted boys' schools were terrible round there. I don't know the Reigate school you're thinking of but Howard of Effingham is supposed to be excellent and I keep hearing good things about George Abbot in Guildford. Reigate's a nice town though. Prettier imo than Epsom.

PatriciaHolm Tue 12-Jun-18 16:49:02

We were warned off Epsom by an estate agent who admitted boys' schools were terrible round there.

What an odd thing for him to say. The boy's equivalent of the girls school referred to above is also outstanding and much sort after!

Anyway; as someone said above, Reigate Schools' distance is small - 2km this year, 2.5 last year, 2.1 in 2016 (first round offers) - so you would need to take care to be within it. it is also obviously a mixed school vs all-girls - both have their pros and cons of course so you need to think what would suit your DD best.

Lucks11 Tue 12-Jun-18 17:08:01

I thought so too the boys school is meant to be incredible. Good point about distances because the alternatives are not brilliant but it's the same in Epsom. I also believe that Reigate is a better town for teenagers to grow up in than Epsom which I believe has gone down hill in the 6 years we have lived here. Sorry if anyone lives there. Just feels more London than it used to.

Lucks11 Tue 12-Jun-18 17:09:51

Lizs. I was thinking of Reigate School. We wouldn't think about St Bede's.

LIZS Tue 12-Jun-18 17:14:58

Reigate School has no 6th form, although the college is good too.

MinaPaws Wed 13-Jun-18 09:06:29

@PatriciaHolm - we thought it was an odd thing for an estate agent to say too. But she (it was a woman) sounded so genuine. Almost alarmed that we planned to move out of London partly for better schools. She said: Not round here, unless you are going private. We just took her at her word because usually estate agents are so enthusiastic about everything in their local area.

MinaPaws Wed 13-Jun-18 09:07:15

Which is the boys' school? Is it Glynn? I heard good things about that (after we'd chosen another area to move to!)

mrsm43s Wed 13-Jun-18 11:11:21

Reigate school is fairly mediocre IMO, and I wouldn't be moving to get my child in there.

Best state results in the Reigate area would be St Bede's, but that has the religious entrance criteria.

If you aren't religious/don't want a religious school, I'd probably plan to go private from 11-16, then back into state at 6th Form at Reigate College.

If private is not an option, I'd probably choose Royal Alexandra and Albert above Reigate School, but that's personal preference I guess, as the results are similar, but to me RAA has better sporting/co-curricular/enrichment activities and has the feel of a more rounded inclusive school environment, where you'd get more than (fairly average) results out of your education.

If its Roseberry that you're currently in catchment for, I'd stay put - no question.

PatriciaHolm Wed 13-Jun-18 15:18:46

Yes, the schools are Rosebery (girls) and Glyn (boys). Both are excellent and much sort after. I can only assume the estate agent had some sort of axe to grind! (or didn't actually know the area very well...)

ChocolateWombat Wed 13-Jun-18 18:19:32

Reigate School was deemed Outstanding.
I have known people avoid it because they don't think it offers enough academic options, but too many vocational ones....plus the lack of 6th Form does make a school different to a school with one - for instance, academic teachers almost always want to teach A Level, as well as younger children. That's not to say the staff aren't great, but they are different and if lots of the subjects are vocational, again the staff and feel of the school is different.
So it depends on your child and what would suit them.
St Bedes is certainly the more academic school - there are some vocational options, but less of them, plus the existence of the 6th Form makes a big difference. The Church criteria (which is strictly applied - 3 years of fortnightly attendance) prevents many from applying or from getting a place and probably results in the school being more middle class, because middles classes are more represented in Church or are more likely to plan ahead for 3 years and attend Church even if they wouldn't usually.

I'd try to gather more info bout the type of courses offered at GCSE, the numbers who take triple science, who study languages and the outcomes for low, middle and high achievers - what might be best for one type of child might not be best for another.

And Reigate is is lovely, if very busy with traffic now. There are cheaper areas, such as south Reigate and Woodhatch area (near Reigate school) but its all still expensive, but I'd agree it has far less of a London or suburby feel than Epsom.

Good luck in getting the info you need.

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