maybe hermanmunster can decide if this should be split to a new thread?
In the meantime -
I can only repeat what friends have told me about the two school you mentioned so hopefully you will get some first hand info.
There is also Holmwood House prep school - don't have any recent info but if you have a car its 10/15 mins drive from CRGS.
As far as state schools go there are some with good reputations in the Lexden -Prettygate area.
I would call them direct and ask about places for next September in the appropriate year group.http://www.essex.gov.uk/Education-Schoo ... sions.aspx
This is the LEA web site - links to applying before mid Nov for a place for next year and on applying mid-year.
Tactically you might want to investigate whether moving your child just before the end of this school year would give you priority for any available places over those applying to start in Sep 2014. I don't know the answer, its just a thought.