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Where to move for good grammar schools around London?

(48 Posts)
Hope4newlife Tue 23-Feb-21 09:42:14

Hi all,

I have y1 boy and want to move back down south after divorce. I used to live in Chiswick but It’s too expensive now.
Aiming to relocate in an area with good grammar state schools and reasonable house price and closer to London to commute.

Which specific area should I look at?

OP’s posts: |
GrammarHopeful Tue 23-Feb-21 09:50:54


blowonitthen Tue 23-Feb-21 09:58:11

Yes, London Borough of Sutton (rather than the town centre itself). Unfortunately, because they have the same name, some people just think of the High Street, which isn't the best, but there are some lovely areas in the borough. And great comps if the grammars don't come through.
The boys grammars are Wilson’s (no catchment), Sutton Grammar School (roughly half catchment, half no catchment) and Wallington County Grammar (small provision for catchment but mostly non-catchment places). There's also Tiffin Boys in Kingston with a 10km catchment (I think).
So you can have quite a wide search area for housing and target these schools.

Labobo Tue 23-Feb-21 10:03:50

Sutton is the obvious choice as you have Sutton boys, Wallington and Wilsons all within reach as well as Tiffin not too far away if needed. Four good options.

jabberywockery Tue 23-Feb-21 10:05:27

Bromley is great if you want good non-selective state schools and reasonably priced housing. It only has the superselective grammars (or OOC places at Sutton and Bexley grammars) though. Bexley and Sutton have more normal grammar schools if that's what you're set on.

Expectingsomethingwonderful Tue 23-Feb-21 10:06:45

Kent has good grammar schools and good train connections to London. Lots of commuters move out when they have families for the great quality of life. Only problem is the house prices!

alltheleaves Tue 23-Feb-21 10:34:19

If you live in areas like Balham you have excellent train links to the Sutton grammar schools but you're also close to Graveney, a comprehensive which has a selective stream. Your child needs to pass the Wandsworth Test for that.
Wimbledon is good for linking to Graveney and Tiffin and not too bad for getting to the Sutton grammar schools too. Wallington is probably the furthest from Wimbledon but a mum was telling me how much her son enjoys spending the time traveling with his friends. It's going out of London so the trains aren't too crowded either.
In addition to the schools already mentioned, Greenshaw in Sutton has a selective stream and uses outcomes from the Sutton grammar tests for this stream.

Stokey Tue 23-Feb-21 13:18:17

Kent or Buckinghamshire are both commuter distance to London and may not be quite as highly priced or competitive as the London grammar schools.

ittakes2 Tue 23-Feb-21 13:29:49

Marlow - choice of co-ed grammar or boys grammar plus and excellent comprehensive in great marlow high if he is not grammar school material in the end.

CatChant Tue 23-Feb-21 13:35:49

The London borough of Sutton ticks all your boxes and, in addition to the grammars, has non-selective secondaries with excellent reputations.

XelaM Tue 23-Feb-21 13:37:01

Why don't you more next door to Dame Alice Owen or Mill Hill County High School? Those two have both grammar intake and small i takes on just distance

XelaM Tue 23-Feb-21 13:37:09


XelaM Tue 23-Feb-21 13:37:36


Argh touch screen

Lobsterquadrille2 Tue 23-Feb-21 13:39:33

Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells have three boys' grammars between them. Tonbridge is cheaper for housing and a shorter/more frequent commute.

thejugglersandtheclowns Tue 23-Feb-21 13:58:00

If you're looking at Kent, think very carefully about where you position yourself. Some of the grammars have quite small geographical catchments (eg Skinners in Tunbridge Wells was only about three miles last year, in spite of also requiring a high 11+ score), and the most popular non-grammars sometimes have very small catchments indeed (or strict church criteria). If your child passes then they're not guaranteed a grammar school place, if you live further than the distance cut offs - and if they don't pass then you need a good Plan B, whether state or independent. Any child can have a bad day, and even a really bright child can not pass the Kent Test (or not get a super selective score).

whataboutbob Tue 23-Feb-21 14:44:42

I believe in Canterbury the Simon Langton grammars take the top 25% pupils. So a good chance of getting in, if you are going for the Sutton grammars you really need to prepare and start tutoring in year 4/5 unless child is exceptionally talented.

NewModelArmyMayhem18 Tue 23-Feb-21 16:10:34

The thing about Sutton though is that the comps are well regarded too (with one exception). And because it's not the case that all local children sit the 11+ exam there's not the same 'not passing' stigma as your DC might get in a county that uses the 11+ as a default. And if you're Catholic there are good additional school options too. Plus Sutton has a Harris Academy (only a couple of years old) that is very STEM oriented and has close links with The Royal Marsden (Sutton) site

notabirthday Tue 23-Feb-21 18:47:22

Sutton also has some terrible GCSE pass rates for some of it's non-selective schools so be very careful of the school distances for some of the schools. The 11+ there is brutal as there are ridiculous numbers of out of borough children -3000+ boys sitting for less than 500 places with only about 100 of these being ringfenced for "local" children.

seasidefishwife Tue 23-Feb-21 19:00:06

You need to make sure that you move somewhere that has both good grammar and comprehensive schools, so that you're not putting all your eggs in one basket. I live in a non-grammar area and most of secondaries are good. However I've got friends in Kent who were really worried about their children not getting a grammar place as the alternatives were really poor. It'll put a lot of pressure on you and your DC.

NewModelArmyMayhem18 Tue 23-Feb-21 19:25:53

Sutton also has some terrible GCSE pass rates for some of it's non-selective schools. The schools with poor GCSE pass rates reflect predominantly social housing dense neighborhoods. However, Carshalton Girls is now part of a school federation with Nonsuch and Wally Girls so you'd really expect an upturn in its academic fortunes.

XelaM Wed 24-Feb-21 08:51:07

If I had my time again and could move anywhere in London for good schools, I would either move next to

1) Dame Alice Owen;
2) Mill Hill County High School;
3) Wren Academy (Finchley);
4) Fortismere.

It's crazy to count on your child passing the 11+. You need to prepare and live next to superb state schools.

Chicchicchicchiclana Wed 24-Feb-21 08:54:17

Whereabouts in London do you work and how short do you want your commute to be?

What is your budget and what kind of property are you looking for?

Newgirls Wed 24-Feb-21 08:56:23

Watford has grammars

RainingBatsAndFrogs Wed 24-Feb-21 09:00:05

You really need to know that the area also has good comprehensives since you cannot know, by Yr 1, whether or not your child will get into one of the super selectives in Sutton (they take students from anywhere: the top scorers in the 11+ ) or will perform well enough on the allotted morning of the exam.

In some areas with grammars, the other schools, missing the top 25% of achievers, have a more limited curriculum than a proper comprehensive.

You need good schools. Many of which are comprehensive.

TeenMinusTests Wed 24-Feb-21 12:46:45


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