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Help - where do I move (in SW London) for a decent primary school in a nice area?

54 replies

hester · 22/07/2009 16:00

As I have moaned at great length on other threads, it is becoming clear that getting dd into a 'good enough' primary within walking distance is going to be like getting a camel through the eye of a needle. So we're thinking of trying to move (market permitting).

Can anyone recommend any nice schools in pleasant areas? We're thinking of a swathe of SW London down the district line, or train line into Waterloo - say, Putney, Chiswick, Wimbledon, Twickenham, Teddington.

Good transport links (we don't drive) and the odd bookshop would be considered a bonus!

OP posts:
giantkatestacks · 22/07/2009 19:58

I've always wanted to go to a meet-up too but its ben and jerrys on saturday...

hester · 22/07/2009 21:14

Thanks so much, everyone - this is really useful. giantkatestacks - budget is around 500k so may be looking at flat rather than house in some areas.

BecauseI'mworthit - would love to take you up on that coffee and inside info! Are you CAT-able (or whatever they call it these days)?

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DebiNewberry · 22/07/2009 22:01

So, completely do-able budget. I would consider Ravenstone in Balham, or Honeywell, Northcote Road area - close to Clapham Junction. No uniform (if that's important to you), happy primaries. Both good surrounding areas with lots to do. Is this for reception entry or higher up? If reception you'll need to be very close to the school, partic Honeywell and prob only a flat. I would also look at Penwortham - you'll be able to get a house, it's near the excellent Graveney and close to Tooting common.

Obv I only know Wandsworth!

LyraSilvertongue · 22/07/2009 22:06

Kingston upon Thames - 25 minutes by train to Waterloo, fantastic primary schools (mostly rated outstanding by Ofsted), new secondary being built, riverside, parks, Richmond Park (all 2,500 acres of it), shopping, restaurants, buses galore and many bookshops. It's got everything you could need. (can you tell it's where I live? I absolutely love it and the DCs school couldn't be better)

LyraSilvertongue · 22/07/2009 22:09

£500k would buy you a very decent house in this area. You can get a three-bed detached Victorian villa in a good street for around £450k. Kingston is also pretty cosmopolitan so no-one would bat an eyelid at the same sex multi-racial thing. There are definitely gay families at our school and plenty of mixed race/black/Asian/Chinese etc children.

BecauseImWorthIt · 22/07/2009 22:10

Yes, hester, I'm CATable!

LyraSilvertongue · 22/07/2009 22:15

This one is nice. And close to excellent schools.

hester · 23/07/2009 11:14

You are all brilliant. I'm liking the suggestions of Kingston, Southfields, Merton Park. Maybe also Battersea...

Anyone know anything about Putney or Chiswick?

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hatwoman · 23/07/2009 11:21

If you can get over irrational prejudice about the name - Surbiton. it's on Kingston's doorstep (literally - maximum 15 minute walk along the river, 2 minute drive), but has a much better train service to Waterloo than Kingston - fast trains take 17 minutes and run about every 10 minutes at rush hour. depending on exact area it's cheaper than some parts of Kingston.

best option overall is on the border between Kingston and Surbiton - so you're walkable to Surbiton station, and to Kingston shops. and v. close to the river. you can say you live in Kingston without paying the inflated prices of north kingston.

hester · 23/07/2009 11:23

What are the schools like in Surbiton, hatwoman? Any you'd recommend?

It's quite a good idea, actually - further out than I'd intended, but very easy access to elderly in-laws.

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hatwoman · 23/07/2009 11:30

all very good. dds were very happy at theirs and I knew people at others and all seemed good. In Kingston as a whole (Surbiton is part of Kingston for schools, council tax etc) there's only really one with a not-so-good reputation (which I personally think is a bit unfounded). One thing to look out for though is the fact that a lot are church schools - if, like us, you're not into church-going, you might not get into your nearest.

fridayschild · 23/07/2009 19:25

If you move anywhere in LB Richmond you will need to be close to a school to get into reception. Lots of children weren't allocated places this year - or last. All the primaries are good, and what we care about here is the degree of excellence! The secondaries are less good though, and I think Kingston is better.

merrymonsters · 23/07/2009 21:16

What time are you meeting at the Rose & Crown? Is that in Wimbledon Village, at the Common end?

thehouseofmirth · 23/07/2009 21:27

I have several friends in Borough of Kingston whose children do not have a reception place this year...We're in West Wimbledon (SW20 between Raynes Park & Wimbledon Village) which is lovely and fantastically (family) friendly. Three good primaries, 2 nice parks and Wimbledon Common & Village close by. Waterloo 15-20 mins away, shops in Wimbedon & Kingston nice and close.

LyraSilvertongue · 23/07/2009 21:36

You do have to be careful where you buy in Kingston if you're after a school place. But that's because the schools are so good, everyone wants a place.

dinkystinky · 23/07/2009 21:40

Chiswick is a nightmare for primary school places - when we were looking to buy 2 years ago we were put off the area totally as the council were busy redrawing the primary school catchments - to make them even smaller! - and the estate agents all basically told us we'd have to go private for schooling for our kids if we definitely wanted to send them to school in walking distance...

hester · 23/07/2009 22:05

That's Chiswick out, then!

I hadn't actually considered Surbiton or Kingston, but am off to do some research now.

Thank you SO much, everyone. I am going to print this thread off and study all your suggestions closely.

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Wheelybug · 23/07/2009 22:09

Surbiton schools v. oversubscribed - Kingston is in general but this year New Malden wasn't too bad. Nice place to live - not as trendy though as other places but v. villagey (without being too insular). No book shops (a great sadness of mine) except whsmiths. All the schools (bar one) v. good or outstanding.

Putney - I don't think the state schools are v. good except for the impossible to get into church school.

giantkatestacks · 23/07/2009 22:27

Great sushi though wheelybug and that makes up for it...and a lovely swimming pool too.

CybilLiberty · 23/07/2009 22:28

Lots of Kingston infant schools are expanding to make more room

LyraSilvertongue · 23/07/2009 22:44

Yep, DSs' school has an extra reception class this year.

dinkystinky · 24/07/2009 09:27

Yep Hester - we scrapped Chiswick for that reason too! That and the fact that all the houses we saw looked very pricey for what they were (was 2 years ago so before the crash). Didnt look elsewhere in South West London though have friends who live in Ravenscourt Park who love it there.

JFly · 24/07/2009 09:36

Southfields is lovely, but I've heard the primary schools are rather oversubscribed. Tales of people on the Grid with no places. We live about 50 yards from Shearingdale so with any luck we'll be able to get DS in if we're still here in 3 years. Apparently, Southfields has the highest concentration of under-5s in Europe! I'd believe it, considering how crowded Wimbledon Park is on a Saturday.

But I really like it here. You might consider Earlsfield, too. I think Beatrix Potter is supposed to be THE primary over there. Prices similar to Southfields and you have the train link, of course. And remember, Wandsworth has the cheapest council tax in the country so that's a big benefit.

BecauseImWorthIt · 24/07/2009 09:36

merrymonsters - 8pm. Yes, Rose & Crown is in the village, it's the last pub as you leave the village, heading for Putney, if you see what I mean. Would be great to meet you!

BecauseImWorthIt · 24/07/2009 09:38

thread here!

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