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 Post subject: What should I do
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:50 pm 
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We currently live in Sutton Coldfield, and my eldest son will take his 11+ next November. He is seeing a tutor weekly, and given the current feedback, he is easily capable of getting into Grammar School (although there is no guarantee of course).

Last summer I changed job, and I am working in Southampton, staying down there during the week. My wife and I have decided that we should relocate near to my work.

Now we have a schools dilema - we could move close to Salisbury, where they still have a grammar school, alternatively we could move to Chandlers Ford or Winchester, where they have excellent comprehensive schools. Either way is a lottery - there are rumours that the comprehensive school selection may be changed to a lottery system (the good schools are massively over subscribed, hence have a very limited catchment area). We could move into an area with Grammar schools, however, then we are relying on son passing 11+ as the alternatives are not very good. We also have 2 other kids to think about, so only want to move once

What should I do?

Matt

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:22 pm 
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I have some knowledge of the Southampton area and there are some good schools but few have Sixth Forms.

I would think that you aim to live near a very good Comprehensive - some 'stream' and have effectively a GS group. Can you research schools during the week and see what you find?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:27 pm 
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Location: Birmingham
Hi Matt

The policies regarding movement of children from one Grammar School to another between LEAs varies quite a lot.

I believe in Birmingham (KE Foundation Grammars and B/Ham LEA Grammars) they would treat this as a late application and would accept children from a grammar in another part of the country subject to a satisfactory report from the Head.

I would certainly phone up the Salisbury Grammar in question and clarify their policy regarding transfers from Grammar schools in other parts of the country.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:29 pm 
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Matthew,
Don’t know if this is of any help, but you might be able to hedge your bets.

My sister-in-law and her family live in Porton (of Porton Down ‘fame’) but sent their children to secondary school over the border in Hampshire. In Hants, as you’re obviously aware, they don’t have GS, so many of the comprehensives are excellent.

They’ve both done very well but their comp doesn’t have a Sixth Form so my nephew is now at Peter Symonds College in Winchester (which he really enjoys but is a long bus journey from Porton) and my niece is most likely to go to the girls grammar school in Salisbury for ‘A’ levels next year.

HTH


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:36 pm 
I used to live in a village between Winchester and Chandlers ford. I'm not sure of the system now but if your children attended a certain primary school they would automatically feed to a certain comp. King's School has a good reputation, as does Westgate. From my limited knowledge the comps in Winchester are better than those in Chandlers Ford, however the house prices are very expensive in Winchester. One of the best state primaries that feeds to King's is Compton CofE but you need to live close to it to have any chance of getting your kid in there. I have heard that King Edward's school (independent) is quite generous bursary wise. If your son is bright then you could also approach Win Coll - you'd have nothing to lose. If you were to struggle getting primary school places for your other children there is a very cheap (cheap by independent standards) independent called Woodhill Schools in Chandlers Ford which has an excellent record of getting scholarships into King Edwards. It's a no frills school but it does the job - fees are about £1300 per term, I think.

I don't know much about Salisbury apart from it is a catchment system for GS entry and I think there is only one GS but that may be completely wrong. I think house prices are much cheaper there as well. There's also the choir school if your kids can sing. :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:49 pm 
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It is not automatice to change between GS - in Bucks pupils from e.g. Kent are retested and several have not qualified ...

If possible I would move in 2009 so your child spends Y6 is in the right 'area' for schools.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:12 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
It is not automatice to change between GS - in Bucks pupils from e.g. Kent are retested and several have not qualified ...

If possible I would move in 2009 so your child spends Y6 is in the right 'area' for schools.


That is the plan. We would like to move in the summer 2009 so we are in the correct yr6.

As a product of GS myself I am a firm believer in GS education, and I am sure that it would be better for my kids, however Thorden School and Kings in Winchester achieve results as good as many Grammar Schools - However, "buying" into the catchment area is extremely expensive.

Also my son is working hard to pass the 11+, I think that he will be let down if we don't give him the opportunity to have a go

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:21 pm 
Bishop's Wordsworth is a nice school, the area is cheaper too so may be that's your answer. I would rather live in Salisbury than Chandlers Ford, but thats just my opinion. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:33 pm 
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What are the alternatives like in the Salisbury area - I agree with Tipsy that the area around Southampton is not somewhere I would like to live.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:46 pm 
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T.i.p.s.y wrote:
Bishop's Wordsworth is a nice school, the area is cheaper too so may be that's your answer. I would rather live in Salisbury than Chandlers Ford, but thats just my opinion. :)


I quite agree - it appears that a nice 4 bed house in Chandlers Ford cost upwards of £500k inside Thornden Catchment, whilst a nice town house in Salisbury would be £150k less. Winchester is even more expensive. Although renting is much more attractive at the moment

Southampton is not very nice, however, the Meon Valley and the New Forest have some lovely towns

The competition in Salisbury seems to be less than Birmingham - approx 1 in 3 applicants are successful, whereas for King Edwards Aston or Bishop Vesey in Sutton Coldfield the success rate is more like 1 in 8

I am convincing myself that Salisbury would be the best option.

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