Moving to Devon following redundancy, please help!

(12 Posts)
Judemumof4 Mon 02-May-16 10:44:12

Hi Devon mums, I have four girls (2 at Uni, 1 in yr 9 and 1 in lower sixth). Not the ideal time to move the sixth form daughter but financially we are defeated after redundancy a year ago. Desperately want to get this move right for the family and willing to take money out of the pot we can spend on family home for their education if we have to (though not ideal). Kids wish list is to be walking distance to a beach (soften the blow of the move I think!), somewhere with some life and clubs e.g. sailing club, sea rowing, kayak etc (not that they've done much but they want to learn and make friends); we'd like walking distance to a pub and somewhere where, hopefully, we can get involved and make friends. We live in a village at the moment and have loads of friends and love to socialise so am nervous. This is a move for life for us so we need to get it right. Can anyone offer advice on best schools for me to contact and best areas that meet the kids' wish list? Both girls are at our local grammar at the moment, both doing fine but the younger one is very bright and sits at the top end of the class. The sixth former has asked for co-ed if poss but really I just hope I can find a school offering the same A levels and same exam boards as she is studying. Feeling very stressed but also excited to start a new life by the sea. Any advice any of you can offer, I'd be hugely grateful.

marmiteloversunite Mon 02-May-16 10:54:42

Hi. Devon is quite a big county. Are you looking for north/south Devon? In South Devon we only have a couple of grammar schools. There is Colyton grammar and Torquay boys/girls grammar which have a mixed sixth form I think. Most of the kids in the Exeter area go to Exeter college as not many state schools have sixth forms.
Exmouth would give you the beach and activities but you would probably have to drive/bus into Exeter for the older ones education. There are a few private schools with sixth forms inExeter. PM me if you want to know more about Exeter area.

Judemumof4 Mon 02-May-16 11:07:30

Hi, yes that's my prob! Trying to turn a nightmare into a dream but have to get it right as can't afford to move twice. I would love to PM you but have no idea how (haven't really used Mumsnet much at all before). Can you PM me and then I just have to reply? Sorry to be a pain, tried search for "how to private message on mumsnet and drew a blank"! Hope to hear from you J

marmiteloversunite Mon 02-May-16 11:33:26

Hi. Hoping this gets to you. M

morethanonebaby Fri 27-May-16 07:38:46

Yes, it's a big place. If you don't mind the expensive house prices, the South Hams is amazing! Kingsbridge school is a state school, with a reasonable reputation. Ivybridge has a big, sporty comprehensive, also good. There are buses to Devonport High for Girls (a good grammar) or you could try to get into Torquay Grammar for Girls, but it is very academic, minimum GCSE results and poss an entrance exam for sixth form (check the website). If you decide on the South Hams, might even be worth getting a private taxi for school runs (if you can't do it), as Torquay has better results than all the private schools. Living in Kingsbridge you could walk to the estuary, or villages like Ringmore, Thurlestone, South Milton, Kingston, Aveton Gifford all have beach or estuary access. But at a price! Would expect to pay at least £450 for a 4 bed house. Hope you are moving from London! Good luck. The move will be worth it, couldn't live anywhere else now.

CrazyforCrochet Sun 05-Jun-16 16:40:50

Hi, we relocated to Devon 8 years ago and have moved 4 times in that time. We moved when my daughter was small and didn't give enough thought to secondary schools. So my advice is to look where the good secondary schools are and use that as your staring point. We are now in East Devon and my daughter goes to The Kings School - they have a good Ofsted report. We have found that it is difficult to get everything on your doorstep in Devon compared to where we moved from. You do have to be prepared to travel - to work, or school, or for shopping. In our case we chose to be near the school but have a decent drive for work and shops, the coast is about 20 minutes away. Most of the small villages have a good sense of community and enough to get involved with. House prices are very steep in Devon as you would expect. Good luck!

DartmoorDoughnut Sun 05-Jun-16 19:20:30

As the others have said it's pretty unlikely you'll be able to tick all those boxes but if you give us an idea of jobs/house price we can probably suggest a best fit!

cressetmama Mon 06-Jun-16 11:12:13

Plymouth is the less glamorous of Devon's cities, but has two girl's grammar schools. Plymouth High and Devonport High, and Devonport Boys admits girls in the sixth form. House prices in and around Plymouth and in SE Cornwall are also rather cheaper than the South Hams and the Jurassic Coast. Cannot offer any useful information about north Devon life although there is magnificent scenery.

Crochet is right about it being difficult to have everything on your doorstep; Devon has more road miles than any other English county, and many of them are narrow and winding. In summer this often means it's very much slower because of the visitors' cars and caravans.

RaineyMN Mon 06-Jun-16 20:12:58

We made the move from London to Devon a year ago. Kids were 11 & 12 at the time, in year 6 and 7, house went on the market just after Christmas and we completed on our purchase at the end of May. We had made contact with schools (who were all really helpful) and looked up results, ofsted etc in the meantime. However, Devon County Council will not accept or start processing your application until you have exchange contracts or have a rental agreement. They will however tell you which schools have spaces in which years.

We chose Babbacombe on the edge or Torquay/Torbay, it has a village feel, walking distance to the beach and all the activities which come along with it/ However if you are feeling energetic you could still walk into Torquay, if not its a 5 minute drive. Exeter is only about 25-30 mins away now the new road is open, if you need a big city fix.

We are really happy to have made the move, kids have settled well and made new friends. My eldest has always been really outgoing with a big, varied selection of friends, my youngest has always been rather shy and preferred a smaller group of select friends. As such I expected the eldest to settle first, but in fact youngest did, it took him a while to find his feet again and to find people with similar interests.

Good luck with your move.

Judemumof4 Wed 29-Jun-16 15:52:59

Thank you so much Devon mums. I haven't been on mums net for ages and it was so lovely to read all your responses and then get on right move and find I can just about afford what we need in the areas you suggest. Sadly not moving from London!! Am torn between here and North Devon - can get more bang for my buck in North Devon it would appear. We are going to try and limp on to let our sixth former finish her A'levels as none of the schools were offering the right boards. It will mean moving the youngest half way through GCSE but at least she'll have a year to settle and then exams and then sixth form. Gosh this is all very complicated and stressful so it's lovely to have your help and info. I think in September I need to start making some trips to Devon and have a proper look around! Thank you all again.

RaineyMN Wed 29-Jun-16 20:11:05

I think trips down are definitely the right way to go if you don't know Devon that well. North Devon tends to be better value housing wise, is beautiful but also the most rural. Remember as well as factoring in schools & the kids wishlist, you need to think about work and being able to get to it.

Judemumof4 Thu 30-Jun-16 12:32:21

Yes Rainey I think you are right. North Devon feels familiar as we've been there on holiday often and it is beautiful; but it might be too big a shock for us coming from a village that's only 30 mins commute from London. I've booked a family week in Devon in August staying in a little cottage in Kingsbridge so we can look at some of the areas suggested in this chat. We will need to work, so sounds like a better chance of getting jobs if we avoid North Devon from what you say. Thank you for your advice. J

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