Moving house to get your children into a better school – anyone on here done it?

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  • Moving house to get your children into a better school – anyone on here done it?
  • Bimbler

    My partner met someone at one of the kids activity things (swimming or something) who moved (from one nearby town to another) to get her children into our local “good” school from her local “requires improvement” school.

    I wouldn’t move on the grounds that you outline but I would in the case of a school which showed “weaknesses in a significant number of subjects including English, mathematics, science, modern languages and design technology.” as she did.

    My eldest daughter is in year 6 too and I actually prefer the local “good” school to the “outstanding” school which she ended up choosing.


    My tuppence would be….
    50% of education is schooling.
    50% is learning about life and relationships.

    If you want to move go ahead but don’t expect a miracle fix just because Ofsted have given the school a big tick this year.
    A good area would probably go hand in hand with better schools but ive known privately educated sons of the gentry who struggled to tie their own shoelaces … 😉


    This is happening where I live, my lad (7) goes to the primary school just down the road, which is next door to a secondary school (and from what I’ve heard is a good school anyway). But a lot of the parents have started to move nearer to another scool a few miles away to get in the “better” school. Not only does this mean rather than walking their child to primary school they need to drive there for the next few years, and paying higher house prices, the “better” school has just been down graded to needs improvement, oh how I laughed! 😆


    Just remember that a school can be ‘good’ one year but ‘not so good’ two years later. Head teachers regularly change schools and teachers come and go – the good ones escpecially.
    Eight years ago we thought about putting our girls into the closest school to us (but we’re not in catchment) as it had a great reputation, had small classes, etc. in the end we decided upon another a couple of miles away as my wife went there and all the grandparents live in the village also.
    The closest school is now suffering from a headmaster who seems to have slightly lost the plot and many parents are looking to move their kids.


    Make sure you chose a school that suits your kid, ended up moving my eldest from top local school to a school considered a rung down from that as he hated the top school so much he would never have stayed on through 6th form there.


    I would (and did) move to a better area for my kids, not just schooling though and not just for the kids. Why wouldn’t you?

    You don’t need to use the school excuse to move to a nicer area.

    Premier Icon iain1775

    We are in the process of moving now
    Not just for schools but that is a primary driver
    Daughter is 3 and whilst the primary near us is fine the secondary is not, and we really want her going through schools with same group of friends hence moving now
    in terms of Ofstead it has gone from being in special measures to good however there are other factors we are considering, it’s a typical inner city school in quite a deprived area, and a large percentage of the kids dont speak English at all, whilst it is a driver in our moving its not the only factor, new house has a garage, which was my main requirement and is on the edge of the city, more open spaces, a nicer local community, its a quiet cul de sac rather than a main road, easier transport links outside the city and closer to my work (by a mile) so all in all a nicer place to bring up my family
    It’s a shame we have to leave our old house as it has 13 years of memories and a lot of time and money spent on it to renovate it exactly as we wanted it (including a huge extension) it has proper double sized bedrooms and a huge garden, something I will miss but we bought it at a time when our main priority was being able to stagger back from town on a Saturday night, our priorities have since changed so time to go


    AA, i know you said you would not get into it but what about academies?, ours has just changed to one in the last year and i’ve not seen a difference.

    Having seen the OFSTED process first hand I can honestly say don’t bother reading too much into it. Much of it is a paper exercise and bears little reflection on what you actually get.
    Some schools are obviously in desperate trouble or needing serious improvement, but they are unlikely to be at a good rating so i’m pretty sure that won’t be the case here. If a school is ‘that bad’ i’m sure you’ll know all about it.
    We weren’t in a financial position to even contemplate this option, so went with the ‘help improve the local school’ choice instead.
    Wife is a governor of our local Primary now as well as working in the Education Dept at the council and being heavily involved in the parents association.
    She gets to write the councils press releases and much of the information the school puts out which is hopefully addressing some of the image problems a school on an estate has had over the years.
    We have a local issue where parents have opted to try and get kids into an outstanding school in a posher bordering area. This was always claimed to be to get them into a ‘better’ school, but since the last round of OFSTEDS our school is now Good with Outstanding features and improving while the posher school has dropped to good.
    The continuation of parents to go towards the other school is showing what was fairly obvious before. It wasn’t the quality of teaching or provision they were chasing, but the company of ‘nicer’ children with richer ‘nicer’ parents.
    No real problem with this if this was their aim, but don’t hide behind the school report to do it.
    I’m the first to say some of the parents at our school are less than interested in their kids education and some of the sights and sounds you see at the school gates could be drastically improved, but the actual teaching and learning our little one gets has been excellent and she really enjoys her days there.
    Yes a few of her friends parents wouldn’t be people we’d normally be mates with, but it’s not really about us is it?
    Also heard some pretty interesting tales from friends in nicer areas of some of the pressure put on teachers from pushy parents along the lines of Q. “Why hasn’t my child learnt to read yet?” A. ‘Do you read them many books?’ Q. “No, that’s YOUR job!” A. ‘Well let me do it then!’.
    Would I think these things if we DID have the money to move? Not sure, it was never an option…unlike the grammar school choice we may have to make in a couple of years time.

    Premier Icon jeffl

    May have been said already. But if the school is over subscribed you may not be able to get a place in it anyway, even if you do live in the catchment area.

    Would be a little ironic if your child got a place in the school where you are looking to move away from.



    You can taste the miggle class angst on this thread, keep it up chaps…


    If the ‘Good’ school is in a nicer area I’d stay where you are. Schools change.

    If it were me and you were happy with everything else, I’d stay with where you are. Also your child’s friends from primary school may be going to that same school so if they’ve got good friends the continuity in those relationships will be good too.


    50% is learning about life and relationships.

    Of course a ‘good’ school will also help form Little Johnny’s life and relationship experiences…

    Yep, couple of the desired schools over-subscribed from in catchment here too.

    Apparently some of the parents who have moved to the area then don’t get in don’t take the news very well. Ooops. Better take your kids to the nice parks to meet your desired friends instead.

    Feel sorry for the families who have lived in these areas for years and are then ‘gazumped’ by moneyed new comers taking up the places they’d thought they had all these years.

    Also don’t rule out the baby boom years. Our next door neighbours got into the posh out of catchment school on a quiet year whereas our other neighbours weren’t even close to getting in 2 years later when you look at the figures.

    By all means try and go for the best option, but don’t make it your only option.

    Also if you are trying to move your kids from a set of friends, have you asked their parents if they are doing the same? 😕

    They might be moving with you!

    What you want to check is what secondary school the feeder primary school goes into.

    We had a couple of school beside us that were both good. One went to a nicer comp than the other.

    We moved to a new house prior to having baby Breathe because of the better schools (amongst other reasons) but got a shock as the acceptance criteria meant despite being really close to the school we were struggling as there was a massive influx of siblings in our school year that got first priority.


    AA, i know you said you would not get into it but what about academies?, ours has just changed to one in the last year and i’ve not seen a difference.

    Maybe you’ll not see a difference when your child is already in (although the primaries around here are complaining that they are financially a lot worse off than when they were under LA control. They will either have to find sponsors or go to the wall). The secondaries are all but publically fighting. And we;re not at the front end of the academy programme.
    The problem is that, although my job is fundamentally simple, Acadamies are selecting, changing catchments – perhaps removing a council estate and including affluent areas – although they obviously consult on that so thats not an issue technically, morally is another queation. One concerning aspect is the poorly veiled back door exclusions, the manipulation of numbers on roll. The schools might say they are full to a parent who they don’t like the look of but overfill for a formally privately educated child for example.
    On the face of it an own admission school will, of course, be telling the truth when it comes to its decisions.
    My experience says otherwise. My role is nowensuring that the criteria are legal, and, more importantly adhered too.

    Premier Icon aracer

    Over time, some schools get a better reputation. That means that parents keen to enhance their childrens education move to be near those schools. Parents that are interested in their childrens education tend to motivate, support and stimulate them, leading to the kids getting better than average results. The school they attend gets a good reputation (rinse and repeat).

    I’m sure there is a certain element of that in our local school (which has been getting outstanding ratings for quite a while, including in the latest one completed last year – the inspectors were in whilst I was doing IT support, but thankfully the system was working and they didn’t want to speak to me!) It’s also the case that parents out of the catchment area who are interested in their kids education apply – normally there is space for out of catchment kids, though next year’s intake they’ve had to increase the class size by one to fit in all of the out of catchment kids who already have siblings at the school (in catchment get first priority even if they don’t have a sibling attending). Not only that, but such parents – like me – also tend to get involved with doing stuff to help the school, which is a triple whammy – the school gets better facilities, the kids see that school is considered important, and apparently it’s a plus point for Ofsted. Teaching staff also well motivated because it’s a good environment for them to teach in. What’s more, if there’s a vacancy on the teaching staff the school gets to take its pick from the good candidates. Definitely a virtuous circle – though to some extent started off here by the sort of people who tend to be interested in their kids education moving here before the school was as good as it is now (I don’t think it’e ever been bad, but not so good as it is now when we moved here I think).

    I’m also aware of at least on kid here now who moved from a private school – apparently their educational age when they arrived here was several years behind their actual age.


    we moved house three years ago, when we had our first son, from a mainly student area of newcastle,to the coast. the main reasons for doing this were:
    the beach
    the schools
    the students
    the prices.

    The schools in whitley bay played quite a big part in our decision, but it wasn’t the only reason, and I doubt we’d move just for schools. If you’ve got bright, motivated kids I would honestly say the difference between a ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ school is negligible.

    Premier Icon ampthill

    We moved closer to my job 6 years ago and part of the move was changing catchments. We also needed a bigger house and I was halving my commute.

    But we didn’t do it on OFSTED grades. The school my son would have gone to I had worked at. I believe would have been unsuitable for him.

    The school he has attended has been good for him. But had we not moved we would probably got him into a different out of catchment school.

    We really looked into admissions criteria for both kids and only just squeaked in. If our sale had fallen through my sons would not have started with his cohort. That was with a very soft entry requirement. We just had to be living in catchment. As soon as we had the address we had the place. I believe that our need to move to a deadline cost us money. I don’t regret that but moving to a deadline is more expensive.

    In the move my daughter ended up at the less good primary in the town. Its a great primary but as its further from the middle school so school drop off is more of a pain. I think it was a brilliant school. It was only after she left that it got the Ofsted outstanding it deserved. handy drop off school is down to good.

    As a minimum ask to be shown round the school you are hoping to move to during the school day. Ask parents and students at that school what its like. Try and work out how the sets work in each school.

    In theory you could move to take your kids out of the brilliantly taught top set of your slightly dodgy local comp to the rowdy middle set of what you thought was a better school.

    Loads of comments by Trekster and other about the posher school in the town having worse systems

    Premier Icon dawson

    Thanks for all your posts.

    The situation has changed in our house somewhat…

    missus is adamant that the children, will not be going to the ‘good’ school where we live, despite not attending an open day (at either school)

    The other school is in completely different area and would double my commute.

    She is determined to move no matter what.

    I am not convinced.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    Good Luck!

    Premier Icon ransos

    Parents have a far bigger influence on a child’s education than the child’s school. There’s been some really interesting research that linked reading ability with how much children were read to at two years old, and not the performance of the school.

    missus is adamant that the children, will not be going to the ‘good’ school where we live

    Perhaps some people should have a tad more faith in their child’s ability and the value of parental input.

    I can’t see why a capable child with supportive parents would fail in a ‘good’ school.

    It seems some people expect schools to preform miracles.

    Premier Icon binners

    I know a few teachers. They are all absolutely committed to their jobs. It really does seem to be a vocation. However, none of them has a good word to say about the Ofsted process, and how it is carried out. Echoing many of the points people have already made on this thread.

    It seems absolutely bonkers to me that you would base such an important decision on some largely meaningless (and easily manipulated) figures, yet not take the trouble to attend the school open day in person, and have a look for yourself.


    Thanks AA, i dont think that be the case at our school as its in a rural area so would find it difficult to manipulate catchments (i reckon). the reason for going to an academy ( so we were told) was because it was a relatively affluent area and the school was unlikely to secure any additional funding / grants do to very few “premium” pupils. I’m not so sure myself but on that basis the schools funding has remained the same, i dont know what the future brings but i honestly hope your prediction is wrong!. Oh and its an OFSTED “outstanding” school 😉 ( i had no idea when we moved there) but i’m fairly involved with the school and the teachers and i am generally impressed with the quality of education there. My advice would be go to the school on a normal day and have look round, you “gut” feeling will tell you way more than any table will, watch the kids in the playground and the type of games they play…. it will tell you a lot!

    watch the kids in the playground and the type of games they play…. it will tell you a lot!

    The police officer sounded sceptical when I suggested that.


    Yeah i though that as i wrote it….! but seriously go on a normal day, they should have no issue with this and you can really see what is happening!


    chuckle..genuine lol.

    i do get to visit schools on a regular basis and one does get a ‘feel’ for a school,how the kids move about the school, their general happiness etc.

    All of this does not outweigh the wishes of Mrs aa however. 🙄

    I went to a school rated outstanding by Ofsted, great GCSE and A-Level results (it was selective, but not private) and whilst I got 4 A grades at A level and all the rest, I was also bullied for the majority of the time I was there, except in the last year of sixth form when all the boys who used to bully me suddenly started asking me out, and wondered why I threatened to punch them in the face.

    Ofsted isn’t everything. Just sayin’….


    Moved for better schools three years ago, cost a bit (but less than private education for 2 kids) and have never regretted it.
    I agree that ofsted is not always the best judge, but most people know which are the ‘better’ schools in their area.
    We did what felt right for our kids – if you can afford it, that’s what you do as a parent isn’t it?

    Premier Icon miketually

    We live on the ‘wrong’ side of town, and our two kids go to the ‘wrong’ primary school. Next year, our eldest starts at the ‘wrong’ secondary school.

    Doing this has meant my wife could stop working when they were very small and to only work part-time now that they’re a bit older. For us, this is a much bigger priority than getting them into the ‘right’school by spending a fortune on a house near to the ‘right’ school.

    Making this decision was made easier by the fact my wife had done supply teaching in the on of the ‘best’ primary schools and in our local (good) school, so had seen first-hand what they’re both like.

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