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where to live to get to good state secondary?

(58 Posts)
Daniiil Tue 08-Sep-09 23:31:11

Hi, our DD is to go to her secondary in 3 years so we try to figure out where to live (London and commuting area) to get into catchman area of good grammar (or just good) secondary state schools. Were looking at Kent, Richmond, Heampstead, etc but got really confused. Can anyone advise good places to live with good schools not so oversubsribed? Appreciate your feedback.

CatherineofMumbles Wed 09-Sep-09 08:36:04

Richmond is dire for state schools unless you can get her into Waldegrave, which has very odd catchment rules, and is of course very heavily oversubscribed, or Tiffin Girls, which is very competitive.

Howlingwolf85 Wed 09-Sep-09 18:03:28

isn't it slightly frustrating this whole catchment area stuff? did you know that a good school adds 20% to the price of local housing... not fair for less well off parents...

ADifferentMe Thu 10-Sep-09 22:19:04

Fleet in Hampshire. Good schools, nice town, bit of countryside around and easy commute.

UnquietDad Thu 10-Sep-09 22:21:37


seeker Thu 10-Sep-09 22:22:42


GrapefruitMoon Fri 11-Sep-09 20:21:20

In any areas with good schools within commuting distance of London you will probably find most of the schools are oversubscribed.

sherby Fri 11-Sep-09 20:29:17


45 mins on the train, two schools in the top 20 state schools list

Zoinks Fri 11-Sep-09 20:31:51

that's not true about Richmond Catherine. We are not far from that borough and I know that both Orleans Park and Teddington are seen as good.

mamaolivia Fri 11-Sep-09 21:58:47

Linslade in bedfordshire? Train station, only 45 mins to Euston and Cedars Upper School has excellent GCSE and A level results. Are several outstanding lower schools and middle schools you would be in catchment for too.

cherryblossoms Fri 11-Sep-09 21:59:40

Daniiil - Do you want to move into an area with a good comprehensive (certainty) + grammars? Or just good comprehensives?

I think that one of the reasons the area around Fortismere is sooo popular is because it gives the certainty of a good comprehensive + you can apply to grammar schools too.

Forget oversubscription - i think they are all over subscribed.

Also, do you have dc who are the same sex? Because that will make a difference? And are you religious? Because that can widen your options considerably.

trickerg Fri 11-Sep-09 23:10:44

Anywhere outside south bucks.

westendgirl Sat 12-Sep-09 22:56:02

Parsons Green: Lady Margaret (check their admissions criteria - keep changing)

Harpenden: St George's

Reading: Kendrick

The Richmond schools keep changing: Christ's seems to be on the way up, Gray Court used to be THE school but is now less popular. The Waldegrave geographic admissions rules are positively Byzantine. Perhaps it's a form of selection?

Tiffin is very selective - about 1600 applicants for 100 places. Most children are coached to within an inch of their lives, mainly to speed them up. It doesn't matter where you live from the point of view of getting in, it's just scores. (But it does matter what the daily journey will like.)

Many of the Kent grammars are excellent, and as there are more of them, a bit less selective than Tiffin.

Any popular school will be over-subscribed so you need to check each school's website to find out what the admissions criteria are.

boyngirl Sun 13-Sep-09 20:07:05

cherryblossom - what grammar schools are around Fortismere? I have been researching the area but couldn't find grammars if don't get in/decide against it.

creditcrunched Sun 13-Sep-09 21:15:04

boyngirl, I think cherryblossom means that if you live in Muswell Hill area, its not too far for your dc to travel to Henrietta Barnet and St Michaels (for girls), Queen Elizabeth for boys, and Latymer for either.
These schools are not on the doorstep but plenty of children from the MH area travel to them everyday.

daftpunk Sun 13-Sep-09 21:17:54

kingston...has tiffin girls school

Daniiil Sun 13-Sep-09 22:42:27

Thank a lot for all the advices. I think we'll try Muswell Hill and somewhat north london first... cherryblossoms, good point about combinations of schools there . which one did you mean, by the way?

Also, who can advise any good place in Kent?
Thank you

cherryblossoms Mon 14-Sep-09 10:52:22

Danilili - I meant what creditcrunched said ... she explained it a great deal better than me!

Actually, there are quite a few areas like that in London. Because entry criteria for schools very and can be quite quirky, it's not always obvious. Fortismere is the stand-out example, though. All those grammar schools are pretty competitive but fortismere has a very good reputation and struck me as charmingly liberal.

CatherineofMumbles Mon 14-Sep-09 17:54:50

Not to sound too pessimistic about Tiffin but one child I knew had THREE sad tutors -so about 4.5 hours tution per week + homework as his parents were soooooo.... desperate to get him in (he got in, luckily for him or it ould have been a thoroughly dreadful 18 months for him, and nailbiting when the allocations came out). Others have no tutor and get in. This year there was big drop out rate of children offered places who also got scholarships at independents and chose those because of the uncertaintiy surrounding the departure of the Headmaster and the hoel in the finances - so a boy I knew waaaay down the waiting list was lucky enough to get in at the last minute.

boyngirl Mon 14-Sep-09 22:53:58

There are excellent schools you exclude yourself from applying to by living in N10. For eg Dame Alice Owen (selective) - parents in Islington borough/Barnet/Herts are falling over themselves to get dc in there but you can't apply from N10. In (borough of) Barnet you have choice of v high achieving comps/selective.

creditcrunched Tue 15-Sep-09 10:44:39

I wouldn't recommend Islington - although you have the option of Dame Alice Owen, its quite far to travel and you have few fall back options as the comps are not great.
I speak from experience as I live right on the islington haringay border...

ShellingPeas Wed 16-Sep-09 22:04:47

Tunbridge Wells (Kent) has good grammar schools but options are limited if you don't pass 11+, or go to church.

If you move outside of Tunbridge Wells and into East Sussex, then Uplands Community College in Wadhurst is highly regarded but you will need to live in Wadhurst itself (around 65 minutes train journey to London) to be guaranteed a place.

perpetualsucker Tue 26-Jul-11 18:56:33

Barnet for Q E Boys? Barnet is the end of the Northern Line.

perpetualsucker Tue 26-Jul-11 18:57:08

or Girls perhaps.

tinytalker Tue 26-Jul-11 21:27:29

If you live in Pinner (NW London suburb)on the Met Line (HA5) you have the chance of applying for Herts Grammar schools as well as having a few excellent comps to choose from. You would need to pick the location of your home carefully and speak to Harrow LEA to get details of catchment areas. I live in the area and I have various friends who also got their children into QE boys, Henrietta Barnet and Watford Grammar from here. Mine go to Nower Hill the local comp which has outstanding results this year, very good extra curricular activities and a very supportive staff.

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