January 27, 2014 at 12:54 pm #6640
I am new to the group. We live in the US and are in the process of moving back to the UK since our child starts in Reception this year. We found a house to buy in the North of Farnham. Near the Park and we’re wondering what were your thoughts about the area? We hear a lot about the south of farnham as the place to go with kids because of school. Unfortunately the house we like sits in the north of town. When we search on ofstead we find some excellent catholic schools in the north but being unable to visit them makes it a difficult choice.
Should I keep away from the Upper Hale area or can we find good education there too?!
Thank you. I appreciate your thoughts!January 27, 2014 at 1:33 pm #6644
Hi, I lived in Farnham for 31 years and i have to admit it was on the south side. I think you have to be incredibly incredibly careful where you purchase on the north side. Theres an estate you want to completely avoid and the roads around it which is the Sandy Hill estate. Unfortunately as well the north side is where the crime take places, teenagers head to group in the evenings and of course the schools. Do try and speak to some other people and your exact locations as of course theres some lovely parts of the area. Its also worth calling up the local police, library and tourist information should also be able to help. Good luck with it all!January 27, 2014 at 1:52 pm #6646
Will you be looking for a place for September 2014? If so, because the applications deadline has now passed, you will most likely be allocated a place at the nearest school with a space. There is only one Catholic primary – St Polycarps which is actually close to the station in South Farnham so I’m not sure which schools you were referring to? Maybe Church of England ones? In the centre of town, St Andrew’s currently serves those roads to the south of the Park for which it is the nearest school, in fact you are unlikely to get a place unless it is your nearest school, but this is currently under consultation for 2015 entry as it is seeking to introduce a catchment area. I think all the other schools in the Centre/North of Farnham give priority to those children for whom it is the nearest school and last year Weybourne and St Andrews only had places for people in this category. The others: Potters Gate, Hale and Folly Hill it was all about distance lived from the school so I would check and see how far you will be from each and then if you go onto Surrey County Council website in the admissions section you’ll find lots of useful info including the distances you needed to live to get a place in 2013 http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/learning/schools/school-admissions. Ofsted reports are useful but to be honest (I am a governor of a school that has undergone a period of improvement and I have just been through the process of applying for a place in Reception for 2014 in Farnham for my son and I went to primary school in North Farnham) reports are out of date quite quickly especially if schools are placed in the Requires Improvement/Satisfactory measure or Special Measuers as they will be having frequent visits from the Local Authority to help improve standards and most schools do improve within 18 months but this is not updated by Ofsted on their website. Often a new headteacher is also brought in who is experienced in improving schools. You could look at the Key Stage 2 results on the Department for Education website too to get an idea of how many children are reaching the required level when they leave (an indeed those going beyond this). Nothing can replace a visit which as you acknowledge makes it harder for you. None of the schools in Farnham are bad but to be honest moving into the area mid-year you may well have limited options to start with but will need to get on the waiting list of schools you prefer or that are closer to home. In terms of the area near the Park – there is a lot to be said for being closer to town, the park is great and you definitely get a lot more for your money. I enjoyed growing up in Weybourne/Hale and if my husband and I hadn’t needed to be near the station for work, we would have probably bought over that side too!
Hope that helps!
RuthJanuary 27, 2014 at 4:36 pm #6661
Thank you so much! Yes, all this info helped a lot! Where exactly is a Sandy a Hill State?! I will be in Nutshell Lane. Does that sound familiar to you? Is it a good area?
Ruth, I was referring to Folly Hill and St Polycarp’s which although being located near the station serves the Holly Family parish area too and feeds to All Hollow which is also an outstanding secondary. As second options I had Folly Hill but it is only infant and feeds to William. Cobbett which is not outstanding but good nevertheless. Obviously I am worried about the lack of choices… There are not many options….
I will give the local police station a call too. That was great advice!January 27, 2014 at 4:48 pm #6663
🙂 You’ll be glad to know Nutshell Lane is away from the dodgy bit 😀 Sandy Hill is on the top part on the other side of the A3016 and further along from you. So you’re pretty safe there I think. Do the schools need to be catholic? If not it might be worth looking at south farnham going on to weydon secondary?January 27, 2014 at 6:41 pm #6665
Nutshell Lane is nice – very close to the park. I lived quite close to there when I was aged 8-18. I went to Weybourne/William Cobbett and think I’ve turned out OK!!! St Polys is the Catholic school serving all Farnham and it feeds into All Hallows – look at the admissions criteria as I know from friends at my children’s nursery who have just started there that you had to be regular worshippers and children baptised etc so make sure you have letters of support from the church where you are now. Folly Hill isn’t your nearest infants school so whether you got a place would be dependent on distance and demand this year. I thought it fed mostly into Hale Juniors not William Cobbett….. To be honest, having lived in both North and South there are “dodgy” pockets in other parts of Farnham. And…. unless you send your kids to private secondary school or are Catholic they all end up in either Heath End (North Farnham) or Weydon (South Farnham) at 11 years old. When are you hoping to be here? The admissions process is in full swing at the moment and as I said the deadline has passed so you will be making a late or in-year application. Places are allocated in mid-April so you will have an idea then of which schools still have places and hopefully one of the ones you prefer will do!
Good luck with the move!
RuthJanuary 27, 2014 at 11:20 pm #6669
Hi Beatriz, I am the area manager for Mums in the Know Farnham and I took the liberty of posting your question on our facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/mumsintheknowfarnham
I am happy to say we have had MANY replies with very useful information from fellow mums, really too much to enter here, but I hope these will be of interest to you.
Good luck with your move and if you would like any further information please do contact Life after London or us here at Mums in the Know Farnham (www.mumsintheknow.co.uk/farnham). SarahJanuary 28, 2014 at 10:08 pm #6685
Thank you so much! All the answers were extremely helpful. I am a much better idea of Farnham now and am feeling confident about the schools too 🙂
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