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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:40 pm 
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Hi

Both DH and I work full time in the City. We are currently living one of London boroughs with very good primary schools however secondary schools in our catchment are underperforming, rated Inadequate and Requiring improvement, with well below average Progress 8 scores. Better performing schools in the borough are faith schools which we won't qualify.

DC1 is 9 and DC2 is 5. DC1 is quite academic so we're thinking of grammar schools. DC2 just started school so we're going to wait and see. Nearest grammar schools are 20 miles away, in the other direction from London. So we are looking for places to live in London with grammar schools (ideally no catchment so we can move after results, if not we can move next year to be in catchment), very good primary schools, and within less than one hour door to door commute and reliable trains. Also since we're waiting to see if grammar schools would suit DC2, we want to be in catchment of good non-faith secondary schools as well. Budget wise we could afford up to £800k.

Would appreciate any advice/recommendations.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:07 pm 
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There are lots of people in Barnet who commute to the city. New Barnet station to Moorgate is pretty fast.
Primary schools are generally good in High/New Barnet/Southgate. Most secondary schools are very good with one exception.
You don't comment if your dc are boys or girls but there is a good girls' comprehensive opposite High Barnet tube station.
Grammar wise you would be handy for QE boys (if you have a boy), not too far for HBS (if a girl) and certainly in the same area as lots of other HBS pupils. You could also apply for Latymer (mixed) and DAO (mixed semi-selective).
£800k would buy a fairly nice semi in a nice area and a larger house in a slightly less salubrious area!
I'm sure there are loads of options but Barnet is the only one I know anything about.

(Enfield will get you much more for your money but there is no tube and the transport links are much worse generally plus the non-selectives are more mixed - some very well performing, others less so).


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 7517
Location: Essex
sandy09 wrote:
Hi

Both DH and I work full time in the City. We are currently living one of London boroughs with very good primary schools however secondary schools in our catchment are underperforming, rated Inadequate and Requiring improvement, with well below average Progress 8 scores. Better performing schools in the borough are faith schools which we won't qualify.

DC1 is 9 and DC2 is 5. DC1 is quite academic so we're thinking of grammar schools. DC2 just started school so we're going to wait and see. Nearest grammar schools are 20 miles away, in the other direction from London. So we are looking for places to live in London with grammar schools (ideally no catchment so we can move after results, if not we can move next year to be in catchment), very good primary schools, and within less than one hour door to door commute and reliable trains. Also since we're waiting to see if grammar schools would suit DC2, we want to be in catchment of good non-faith secondary schools as well. Budget wise we could afford up to £800k.

Would appreciate any advice/recommendations.


Hi :)

May I just point out that wanting a grammar school with no catchment, so that you don't have to move until after results and wanting to be in catchment for a great non-selective school in case the results aren't good enough, may be a little fraught? Unless you had proof of an in catchment address by October 31st, you would have to apply for secondary school from your current address and would only have until about January 12th at the latest to get said proof of local address in order to be considered on that address for the non-selective school in the March 1st allocations (for a non-catchment grammar, it wouldn't matter where you applied from, unless your DC tied for last place).

Also, if your new address was a considerable distance from your DCs' current school and they were still apparently attending that school (you had not asked the new LA for primary places for them together with providing proof of your new address, for instance), the new LA might suspect, and investigate you for, address fraud. You would have to be completely ready to Peter tier with your previous address within the required time frame.

After all that - Chelmsford is quite nice, has grammar schools accessible to non catchment applicants, is an easy commute into Liverpool St and most of the non-selective schools are okay. There are also non-catchment grammar schools in Colchester which your DC could access, also grammar schools in the Borough of Southend with guaranteed OOC places, with transport available if they don't mind sitting on a coach for a while each way. Travel by train is also possible and more flexible. Or somewhere near to Shenfield station, from where all the Essex / Southend grammar schools are more or less accessible.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 23, 2017 12:54 pm
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Thanks loobylou

I've been looking at Barnet and Potters Bar. Dame Alice Owens with its co-ed environment and sibling policy is a very attractive option. However the greatest stumbling block is that the admission policy requires a permanent home address by some 15 months before the year of entrance.

Whilst moving for us parents would not be a big issue, we've been wondering what to tell DCs about the move as they're currently very happy at an outstanding local primary school. If we stay till DC1 finishes primary in 2020 then there's a reason for moving. By June 2019 they'll be in Y5 and Y1. Is it worth moving then, risking 2 in-year applications which could mean they'll be in 2 different schools, in different directions, having all this instability while DC1 has to focus on the 11 plus?
It's so difficult even when we can afford it.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 23, 2017 12:54 pm
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Thanks ToadMum

I'm only looking for places to live that suit my children's needs. I guess many parents will have the same headache of choosing a place to live that suit the entire family's demands.

On your recommendations on Essex, DH works towards the West of the City (WC1) so an extra half an hour will be added to his journey from Liverpool Street.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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No point looking at Bucks as you won't get a place from London.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:50 pm 
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sandy09 wrote:
Thanks loobylou

I've been looking at Barnet and Potters Bar. Dame Alice Owens with its co-ed environment and sibling policy is a very attractive option. However the greatest stumbling block is that the admission policy requires a permanent home address by some 15 months before the year of entrance.

Whilst moving for us parents would not be a big issue, we've been wondering what to tell DCs about the move as they're currently very happy at an outstanding local primary school. If we stay till DC1 finishes primary in 2020 then there's a reason for moving. By June 2019 they'll be in Y5 and Y1. Is it worth moving then, risking 2 in-year applications which could mean they'll be in 2 different schools, in different directions, having all this instability while DC1 has to focus on the 11 plus?
It's so difficult even when we can afford it.


Potters Bar will give you more for that budget but my impression is that the primary schools are very variable and spaces tend not to come up often in the most desired schools. Having said that, I do know someone who moved their child for year 6 to a school in Potters Bar (for completely other reasons) and managed to get a place in the more desired school. However the bigger issue for Potters Bar is the non-selective options if your children don't do well enough in the test. (with DAO/QE/maybe HBS but horrid commute as your only options selectively).

I wouldn't choose PB at this stage - Barnet is a better option for the range of schooling.

I think children do move schools in primary. My children were at a lovely Barnet primary and saw children come and go reasonably often over the years. Only you can decide whether the upheaval is worth it at that stage...


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:22 pm 
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Thanks loobylou again

I know children do move schools in primary, if the outcome is a bit more certain then we wouldn't be so hesitant. DC1 is a shy and sensitive child and it took her a while in primary to form friendships. Now in Y4 she's very happy and confident in a small school. Which makes the whole thing even harder as she would have to join a new school in the last year of primary. DC2 is a happy bubbly boy who has made many friends since starting school in September.

We don't want to be 11 plus tourist but how would we solve this headache? Sometimes I saw my friends buying houses before having children in grammar school areas and wondered why we couldn't have seen that coming? But then how would we have known about our kids academic potential before they were even born? As for the argument of bright child would do well wherever they are, our local secondaries have more than 40% intake as prior high-attainers yet their Attainment 8 is well below average. Progress 8 obviously suffered. Well meaning people have asked should we consider convert so as to be eligible for the local faith schools.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:28 pm 
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sandy09 wrote:
As for the argument of bright child would do well wherever they are, our local secondaries have more than 40% intake as prior high-attainers yet their Attainment 8 is well below average. Progress 8 obviously suffered. Well meaning people have asked should we consider convert so as to be eligible for the local faith schools.

Have you looked at the value for the high attainers or just the overall one?
One year's data is not a good way of judging a school.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:40 pm 
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Thanks Guest55

The school in question has been in special measures for years. Attainment 8 score for high attainers is just over 50%.


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