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London to Sutton Coldfield Move - Help Secondary Schools

(7 Posts)
confusedmummy3 Tue 28-May-19 20:36:47


We have currently made a last minute decision to move from London back to Birmingham (sold a business) and need to place my Daughter into Year 7 and my son into Reception.

We will most likely be moving to Four Oaks/Little Aston as the majority of our family are this way.

My daughter is currently at Lady Eleanor Holles in Hampton and has a place at Tiffin Girls School which is a Grammar School. It is super selective and she is very academic. It ranks very highly nationally.

Can anyone suggest which of the Birmingham schools are good academically in terms of rankings and commutable from Four Oaks. I don't think a normal state secondary will be challenging enough.

Although the move will be good for us as a family, i feel like the schools are not even comparable.

Can anyone suggest a good prep school for my son too?

OP’s posts: |
crazycrofter Wed 29-May-19 08:38:48

Hi, welcome to Birmingham!

There are plenty of academically selective schools in Birmingham, but your daughter will be a late entry so whether you get a place before September is uncertain. I believe that children who move to the area are able to take the Birmingham 11 plus late and be added to the individual schools' waiting lists which are ordered according to score. I assume the same is also true of the Walsall 11 plus, which would be worth considering too.

My son is at a Birmingham grammar school and there was movement right up to the second term - only a handful of new joiners, but places definitely came up. There have also been two places come up in his class in year 8.

For where you're moving to, you'd want to consider Sutton Coldfield Grammar for Girls and maybe also King Edward VI Handsworth Girls School (same test for both). You should also be accessible to Queen Mary's High School in Walsall. Contact the local councils and maybe also the KE Foundation office to ask how she takes a late test.

You could also consider the independents - King Edward VI High in Edgbaston takes lots of girls from Sutton/Four Oaks as they can get there on the train. Again, it would mean a late test and being added to the waiting list, but they may be more flexible about numbers if she does particularly well. There's also Edgbaston High School - this is usually considered as a back up to KEHS, not so academic, but worth a try?

crazycrofter Wed 29-May-19 08:40:18

I don't know about preps I'm afraid, as my children were at state primary schools, but there are a few in Sutton I believe?

Dancingdreamer Wed 29-May-19 23:29:41

At this late stage, most of the highly sought after academic schools will have filled their places including the independents. I also believe that the Birmingham grammar schools will soon have catchment areas so some of the best grammars e.g. Camp Hill will not be as easily available to DC in Sutton.

With this in mind, it may be worth trying Solihull School. They run buses from the Sutton area. They will be full but might make some space for a very bright child who will boost their results. It’s nowhere near as academic as schools like KEHS, LEH or Tiffin (even thought they try to claim that it is). However they will be able to work with a bright children and whilst they probably won’t stretch them beyond where they are now, your DC will keep pace with a fairly solid cohort academically. It may be a good second choice until a place comes up elsewhere.

If you are flexible on location, perhaps look at areas such as Barnt Green? This would give you access to Bromsgrove School which always tries hard to find places for DC (either day or weekly boarding if you must have Sutton). Their prep goes through to 13 which means you could apply for a place then for your DD at KEHS or elsewhere.

Otherwise, the best comprehensives I known of are both in Solihull: Tudor Grange or possibly Arden. Tudor Grange has very academic top sets. Arden used to be similar or better but I am not sure if it is still doing as well.

crazycrofter Thu 30-May-19 09:29:50

The catchments for grammar don't come in until year 7 entry 2020, so the OP is ok. If her daughter got a decent score on the 11 plus, she could put her down for all Five Ways and Camp Hill too, if they were do-able travel-wise.

My daughter is at KEHS and they had a few new joiners late in year 7, in year 8 and year 9. I don't think they have a fixed admissions number, so I wonder if they'd be willing to offer a place for Sept if the OP's dd scored highly?

confusedmummy3 Thu 30-May-19 10:52:15

Thanks for all the information

As soon as we have an address we can sit the exam hopefully

does anyone know anything about the exams?

Ive read they are CEM style papers and are all multiple choice. Is that correct? and there is no creative writing?

OP’s posts: |
crazycrofter Thu 30-May-19 12:18:23

The Birmingham and Walsall papers are CEM style so all multiple choice. The Birmingham paper is 1/2 English based ie comprehension, verbal reasoning, vocabulary and 1/4 Maths, 1/4 non verbal reasoning.

I believe the Walsall paper is a slightly different balance - 1/3 Maths, 1/3 English and 1/3 non verbal, but the types of questions are the same.

The KEHS exam is different - no multiple choice and it includes creative writing as well as Maths and comprehension.

I think you could approach the schools/councils and arrange for her to take the tests without a local address. The grammar places are allocated according to score not location, so I should think the sooner she takes the test the better, as she will then be added to the waiting lists.

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