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Moving to Letchworth garden city

19 replies

MelBD123 · 25/02/2024 00:01

Hello mums, we are considering moving from northwest to Letchworth garden city due to DH's recent change of job. We have a reception age DS and a nursery age DD, so schools are at the top of our priorities.

I would be very grateful if you can provide some advices on local areas and schooling.

It seems to me that the performance of local secondary schools (Fearnhill, Highfield) is not impressive (correct me if I am wrong!). Please may I ask whether local kids from Letchworth garden city have any other options for secondary schools (except private schools)?

In terms of areas, is there any rough streets that we should avoid? We have a max budget of 750k and would prefer a 4-bed detached house with a good sized garden if possible. I don't drive and need the train for commute. Which area of Letchworth would you be looking if you were in my shoe?

Many thanks for your time.

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Flowerfairie · 25/02/2024 00:01

No don’t do it

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MelBD123 · 25/02/2024 00:12

Flowerfairie · 25/02/2024 00:01

No don’t do it

:D thanks for your thoughts. Please could you explain a bit more?

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idontlikealdi · 25/02/2024 00:23

Why Letchworth?

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Poinsettiasarevile · 25/02/2024 08:57
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HowardsWayward · 25/02/2024 09:09

Letchworth is great. Train station in town centre which makes it very easy for commuting (easier than Hitchin where it's a way out) Brilliant splash park and a lido! Lots of events organised.

Agree the schools are better in Hitchin or Baldock but with falling birth rates the catchments will expand over the next decade.

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Tupster · 25/02/2024 10:28

There's no bad areas in Letchworth. Grange and Jackmans are the big ex-council areas, which are now very mixed between ownership and HA. They are the rougher parts by Letchworth standards but seriously not rough by any normal standards. Couple of other smaller, older ex-council bits nearer into town, but they tend to top out at 3 bed semis and you'll find nothing up at your price-range in any of these areas, anyway.

However, if you want a 4-bed detached for 750, then you are going to have to be looking on the edges of the town, like the Lordship above, which are a fairly long walk into town. And the bus services in general are quite limited. If you're coming from the Northwest you might find yourself a bit horrified by what you'll get for your money. If you don't drive and need to use the station a lot, I would recommend compromising on the detached part of your spec and you should be able to get closer in.

Do beware that if you are looking in any of the "original garden city" areas, it's almost all conservation area and Heritage Foundation rules are strict on what you are allowed to do to your property - so buying with hopes of adding a loft conversion etc can be risky in these areas.

Sorry, can't answer about schools, but I hope the above is helpful.

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MelBD123 · 25/02/2024 20:20

Tupster · 25/02/2024 10:28

There's no bad areas in Letchworth. Grange and Jackmans are the big ex-council areas, which are now very mixed between ownership and HA. They are the rougher parts by Letchworth standards but seriously not rough by any normal standards. Couple of other smaller, older ex-council bits nearer into town, but they tend to top out at 3 bed semis and you'll find nothing up at your price-range in any of these areas, anyway.

However, if you want a 4-bed detached for 750, then you are going to have to be looking on the edges of the town, like the Lordship above, which are a fairly long walk into town. And the bus services in general are quite limited. If you're coming from the Northwest you might find yourself a bit horrified by what you'll get for your money. If you don't drive and need to use the station a lot, I would recommend compromising on the detached part of your spec and you should be able to get closer in.

Do beware that if you are looking in any of the "original garden city" areas, it's almost all conservation area and Heritage Foundation rules are strict on what you are allowed to do to your property - so buying with hopes of adding a loft conversion etc can be risky in these areas.

Sorry, can't answer about schools, but I hope the above is helpful.

That's very helpful thank you! We didn't know the conservation area and its related rules!

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MelBD123 · 25/02/2024 20:22

Poinsettiasarevile · 25/02/2024 08:57

You might want to think about Hitchin. You wont get a detached 4 bed for your budget, but the schools are all really good at primary and secondary level and the town has way more going on than LGC.

Some houses to give you a sense of how far your budget will stretch

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/properties/86730675#/?channel=RES_BUY

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/properties/132642200#/?channel=RES_BUY

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/properties/141196544#/?channel=RES_BUY

Thank you. We did think about Hitchin. It seems to me that the catchment areas of good schools play an important role in the property prices. I couldn't find the catchment area information on google. Do you happen to know what the catchment area of Hitchin boys/girls school is like?

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MelBD123 · 25/02/2024 20:23

idontlikealdi · 25/02/2024 00:23

Why Letchworth?

Well it is on the train line between Cambridge and London, and the property prices there feel more reasonable than Hitchin...

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Alexahelp · 25/02/2024 21:43

There was a thread just yesterday on Hitchin and Letchworth - pop back a page or two and youll get some more thoughts!

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Brightlights23 · 25/02/2024 21:59

I have lived in letchworth for 19 years after relocating here with my husband when our eldest child was only a few weeks old. We lived in SE London and I grew up in Stevenage so wanted to move back.

our first house was a short walk from Morrisons and was about a 5 mins walk to the train station as my husband worked in central London. We had a 4 bed detached. 6 year ago we moved to a larger house near standalone farm. My children are 13f, 15m and 18m. The boys go to Hitchin Boys (my eldest did his a levels last year) and my daughter is at Hitchin Girls.

As Hitchin boys and girls schools are the only local same sex schools, they take children from the surrounding towns and villages each academic year. I believe it’s 15-20 boys and girls each year although it could be less now the birth rate is dropping. Admissions criteria could change though.
If you look on the schools website you will be able to find the admissions criteria.

I have many friends whose children have attended both fearnhill and Highfield schools in letchworth, and many have down really well, so don’t let results put you off.

We really like it here.

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MelBD123 · 27/02/2024 09:15

Brightlights23 · 25/02/2024 21:59

I have lived in letchworth for 19 years after relocating here with my husband when our eldest child was only a few weeks old. We lived in SE London and I grew up in Stevenage so wanted to move back.

our first house was a short walk from Morrisons and was about a 5 mins walk to the train station as my husband worked in central London. We had a 4 bed detached. 6 year ago we moved to a larger house near standalone farm. My children are 13f, 15m and 18m. The boys go to Hitchin Boys (my eldest did his a levels last year) and my daughter is at Hitchin Girls.

As Hitchin boys and girls schools are the only local same sex schools, they take children from the surrounding towns and villages each academic year. I believe it’s 15-20 boys and girls each year although it could be less now the birth rate is dropping. Admissions criteria could change though.
If you look on the schools website you will be able to find the admissions criteria.

I have many friends whose children have attended both fearnhill and Highfield schools in letchworth, and many have down really well, so don’t let results put you off.

We really like it here.

Thanks for your reply. It is interesting to know that HBS and HGS take children from Letchworth. The current cap is 20 children. Do you have to live on a part of Letchworth that is close to Hitchin in order to get in the 20 quota?

Thanks for the info regarding local secondary schools too.

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Brightlights23 · 27/02/2024 12:09

For Hitchin Boys and Girls school it is just that you live in Letchworth, as I know people who live in different areas whose children have got in. We moved 6 years ago and my daughter still got in.

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Alexahelp · 27/02/2024 13:11

The vast majority of Letchworth kids won’t get into Hitchin schools so don’t bank on anything. They’ve changed criteria now to prioritise outer Hitchin villages where they’re the closest schools (understandably really!)

Knights Templar in Baldock has a very good reputation as an alternative.

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MelBD123 · 27/02/2024 16:15

Alexahelp · 27/02/2024 13:11

The vast majority of Letchworth kids won’t get into Hitchin schools so don’t bank on anything. They’ve changed criteria now to prioritise outer Hitchin villages where they’re the closest schools (understandably really!)

Knights Templar in Baldock has a very good reputation as an alternative.

Thanks! I know Knights Templar is a good school, but can most Letchworth kids go there? Is there some sort of admission restriction to Letchworth kids too?

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Tupster · 27/02/2024 16:35

Baldock might be a good shout to look for properties too if you like that school. It's only one more stop up the line from Letchworth.

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MelBD123 · 27/02/2024 21:35

Tupster · 27/02/2024 16:35

Baldock might be a good shout to look for properties too if you like that school. It's only one more stop up the line from Letchworth.

Thanks. There are not that many houses from Baldock on the market, and even fewer pretty ones.

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Brightlights23 · 28/02/2024 15:31

You need to check the admissions criteria for the schools regularly as it can change and has done.

My daughter is currently in year 8 at HGS and there were only 12 girls from letchworth that went for her year. From her own school only 2 went when it’s normally around 6 - sometimes getting in can depend on the number of people who applied. For her year, no one seemed interested in the Hitchin schools which isn’t the norm.

they have to take a number of children each year but how many could change depending on admission criteria at the year of applying.

i have friends who have children at the letchworth, Hitchin and baldock schools and all are doing well.

for knights you would need to check their admissions policy on who is in catchment as they take from a wide area just like all the other schools.

of all the people who I have known to apply for the Hitchin schools who live in Letchworth in the past 8 years, only one hasn’t got in. Some got in on continuing interest as well.

my friend currently lives in baldock and her son wanted HBS - they applied but baldock is not in catchment area so highly unlikely. But who knows.

lots of good options in the local area.

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