School Applications When You’re Moving

Understanding the system Schools admission can feel confusing when you’re living in a different area.  Our first advice has to be before you begin you really must do your reading, don’t just listen to others.  Get advice and read up before starting.  Filling in an application form wrong could be a big headache further down the line.  A good place to start for advice in general about school applications is Ace Education.  They have a free helpline as well as a number of downloadable guides (for a small fee)   Information about admissions to schools is freely available on the Local Authority Website of where you are moving. Speak to the Local Authority and understand the schools situation in your chosen area.  Not all areas are over-subscribed and if you are flexible on areas it might be worth choosing an area where the schools aren’t so oversubscribed If you apply after the offers have been made it is called an ‘In Year Application” - it applies to those both moving areas and those choosing to move schools.  It applies to any applications outside of Reception and Year 7 (except with three tier local authorities where children move age 7 as well. If you apply after the deadline has passed but before allocations are made it is generally called a Late Application.   In some areas there is a secondary deadline called an ‘overlap deadline’ for those moving into the area.  This deadline will be a few weeks after the public deadline but before allocations are made. Make sure you understand the deadline dates for your chosen Local Authority and...

Moving With Children and Starting Something New

Enjoy this guest post from Emma Hi. I’m Emma. A wife, mother of two little boys aged two and four and after moving house last July, I am now also the founder of the UK’s first on demand window cleaning service, Squeaky Clean. Moving is something I have done numerous times since leaving my parents house in Ostersund, a small town in the north of Sweden, at the age of nineteen. To and from England twice, to Paris and to Dubai but nothing has proved as emotional as leaving the house where your children have enjoyed their first years of life. My husband and I first met ten years ago in Stockholm, Sweden. I had quite recently moved back from four years in Surrey but after just over a year in Sweden we decided to move to Dubai because we wanted a new challenge, and some warmer weather.   Dubai to Hampshire We spent three great years in Dubai but decided that moving back to England was the right thing to do when we felt ready to start a family. We moved back to England in 2010 and bought a newly built 4 bedroom house in Bramley, Hampshire. We didn’t know anyone there but my husband knew of the area as he was brought up fairly nearby. At this time we didn’t think too much about schools etc as I wasn’t even pregnant yet, but that was one of the main reasons that we decided to move to Liss in Hampshire last year. Getting Help Moving is never easy but it doesn’t have to be that hard either. We...

State Boarding Schools

Would you like your children to experience life at boarding school? Do you worry about the costs? State Boarding Schools offer high quality state-provided education with boarding offered at a fraction of the cost of an independent school.  Just like with any state education the government pays for the education so your bill just covers the boarding aspect of life.  This can be between £3,000 and £4,000 a term (as opposed to independent boarding schools which are around £10,000 a term) For some people boarding schools are a practical solution where both parents work or there has been a breakdown in the family structure.  For others they choose to research a boarding school because they appreciate what it can teach students outside of the classroom whilst still offering stability in a caring and nurturing environment. Boarding can offer a range of out of school activities that promise a tailored, unique experience for each child.  For some children who are perhaps doing extra sport training out of school hours it can provide an opportunity to stay at school rather than long commutes or late home arrivals. Results from the state boarding schools regularly out-perform other state schools and many top the league tables.  One example is Sexeys which has been ranked the top performing state school in Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon and Cornwall at GCSE (82% A*-CEM) and their students have also achieved excellent A-level results (65% A*-B) and university offers, including Oxbridge. Tatler has once again produced a list of the Top State Schools featuring 11 primary schools and 21 secondary schools. Hockerill Anglo-European College in Hertfordshire, Sexey's in Somerset and...

Schools in Suffolk

Suffolk schools are organised in two different ways. Across the majority of Suffolk there is a two-tier education system. However, in parts of Bury St Edmunds there is a three-tier system. There are literally hundreds of schools with outstanding Ofsted reports in Suffolk but be warned some of them have very small catchment areas.     In year applications are made via the local authority with the exception of Voluntary aided, foundation, free schools and academies  where you apply directly to the school.  The best way to find out more is contact the Local Authority of Suffolk for more information.   It’s interesting to note the high percentage of primary Church schools gaining outstanding ofsted status, particularly around Ipswich.   The ones to mention particularly are St Marys’ Catholic Primary, St John’s Church of England Primary, St Marks Catholic Primary with Springfield Junior the notable exception.     Other primary schools to watch out for include Barrow Church of England Primary and Great Barton Church of England as well as Sebert Wood in Bury St Edmunds.  Also in that area of the county are All Saints Church of England Primary,  Great Whelnethan Church of England and Wickhambrook Community Primary Schools.    Popular villages with primary schools include (please check the schools as not all are achieving the best results at the moment. East Bergholt, Long Melford, Lavenham, Cockfield, Little  Bealings, Grundisburgh, Wickham Market, Saxmundham Primary School, Aldeburgh Primary School, Middleton Community Primary School Sir Robert Hitcham’s Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School   Some of the secondary schools of particular note include Bury St Edmunds Upper School, St...

Forgotten in a move

Moving time can be stressful but don't fall into the trap of forgetting these critical things. Thanks to Ashley Morgan from One Stop Organisers for her top tips Ten Most Forgotten Things to Do For Your House Move: 1. When checking shelves in empty cupboards always stand on a chair (safety, please!) as things can get stuck at the back and you won’t see them. Umbrellas / sticks, etc, get left behind open doors, as do coats / hooks, etc. 2. Tip your removers. They’ll appreciate it. 3. Make a list of who to tell you’ve moved – go through your home filing to make sure you don’t leave anyone out. Also tell your window cleaner and anyone that regularly comes to do a job at your home, especially if you are moving out of the area and you won’t be using their services in the future. 4. To stop mail you don’t want being redirected, and to stop receiving mail for previous occupiers at your new address, register with the Mail Preference Service: http://www.mpsonline.org.uk/mpsr/  It’s also worth returning unopened marketing material, with a label saying ‘Return to sender. Addressee not known here. Please remove from database.’ This also helps stop unwanted mail arriving. 5. Pets get stressed. It’s worth boarding them at the vets or wherever you take them when you go away, so that they are not a safety hazard to themselves and others. Do this even for packing days as they will be stressed by lots of people in the house who they don’t know. 6. Lightbulbs – if you have several that are blown you...

Schools in Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire Schools Hertfordshire is blessed with a good choice of schools.  However, the downside means you aren’t the first people to consider moving to Hertfordshire so you need to be really on the ball about catchments and admission criteria.  There are plenty of State options as well as Church Schools and Independent schools.   State Some of those worth of a mention include: Maple Primary School, Abdl Smith School, Manland Primary, Aboyne Lodge, Nascot Wood, Monskmead, Spellbrook, Harvey Road, Templewood, Therfield Primary, Little Gaddesden, Chipperfield For Secondary the Hockerill Anglo-European College is extremely highly sought after and is one of few State Boarding Schools in the Country offering exclusively the IB.  Watford Grammar School for Boys and Girls have great reputations and Parmiter in Watford and Dame Alice Owen’s are also popular. Don’t be fooled by the “Grammar School” in the name - Hertfordshire doesn't have grammar schools. Instead there are a few schools with a limited number of places via entrance exams for those academically or musically gifted.  I’m sure you can imagine how intense the procedure is for entrance to these schools (of which there are around 16 schools).  For a list of those who have a number of selective places visit http://www.schoolguruhertfordshire.co.uk/selective-schools.html).   Private If you’re looking at the Private School Sector you should consider: Haberdashers in Elstree, Bishops Stortford College, St Edmund's College, Ware which is a high perfoming Catholic school offering A Levels and IB Manor Lodge, Heath Mount and Lochinver, Lockers Park, Edge Grove Aldwickbury, Berkhamstead, St Margaret's School and across the border in Essex Felstead  and New Hall School.   Useful websites you need Tool which...