Local Talk

Relocating to Edinburgh: schools and renting

(32 Posts)
Janeywany Fri 11-Feb-11 22:40:41

(First ever post) I've just accepted a new job in Edinburgh that sees me start in April, but the family can't move up from London until August, due to lack of spaces in schools. Bruntsfield and Sciennes are the faves, so I am looking for a rental in the catchment for the first year, but all I can find are student-ey looking places.

Any tips?

I have a DD at P4 and a 3-year-old boy.

And what about nurseries too?!

Thanks in advance

Rhadegunde Fri 11-Feb-11 22:44:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Janeywany Fri 11-Feb-11 22:48:40

Thanks Rhadegunde. I'll be at the NHS Lothian offices, on Princes Street (near the St James Centre). We're kind of working backwards - secondary=gillespies or boroughmuir primary=merchiston or sciennes. Equals where to live!

Had hoped to move at Easter, but no places 'till August. Have to get a flat lease signed to get on a waiting list for a place.

Boo hoo - the commuting mom!

TwinkleyFairyLights Fri 11-Feb-11 23:38:51

Buckstone and South Morningside primaries are also in the catchment area for Boroughmuir. Here is a link to catchment area info, just in case you don't have it already.

cuckooclock Sat 12-Feb-11 00:16:00

Just in case you don't know Gillespies is about to be rebuilt so is facing a period of decanting & disruption, someone else may know start & completion dates.

liath Sat 12-Feb-11 07:43:50

Don't discount the other primaries that feed into Gillespies - Sciennes is over subscribed and I think the very good Head left recently. Dd is at Preston Street Primary and I'm really impressed with it, it's a lovely school with a nice ethos. Good luck with it all!

SpawnChorus Sat 12-Feb-11 08:00:16

liath - I must live near you! My DCs are in the Gaelic Medium stream at Tollcross, but if they weren't there I'd definitely be sending them to East Preston Street rather than Sciennes.

I have no idea why so many parents are desperate to send their kids to a massively oversubscribed school. The class sizes are preposterous!

evitas Sat 12-Feb-11 15:04:50

Janeywany have you considered the north? Stockbridge or Comely Bank. These areas also very good primary schools and great links to the city centre (bus or even walking)

Bookswapper Sat 12-Feb-11 22:19:04

Can anyone else believe that these movers all want exactly the same schools without fail when there are so many other good schools in Edinburgh? What are they all reading? Edinburgh really is not London...there is no north/south divide like London (mentioned on a similar thread) there are lots of good schools to select from...although to be fair, Edinburgh is becoming more like London every year but the weather will always be uniquely Scottish I suppose!

Bookswapper Sat 12-Feb-11 22:20:27

And I am stepping away from these threads now incase they discover my part of Edinburgh and my community's lovely schools!

SpawnChorus Sun 13-Feb-11 09:24:42

Agree with BookSwapper.

Although I believe there are some significant discrepancies with the quality of schools at secondary level, with Gillespies and Boroughmuir (both centre/south of the city) coming out well in terms of reputation. Which other areas are good for secondary schools? (We're planning on moving and as my DCs are young, I;m not v clued up about secondary provision!)

cuckooclock Sun 13-Feb-11 10:22:00

I understand the best state secondaries in Edinburgh in terms of exam results to be Gillespies, Boroughmuir, Balerno, Royal High, Currie. But exam success isn't everything and what suits your kids is probably just as important

evitas Sun 13-Feb-11 11:14:52

Bookswapper it is true that Edinburgh is not London, but I guess the North and South distinctions are purely to help people to locate themselves in the city, I don't think there's any prejudice when making that distinction. I agree that we tend to mention the same places and same schools, but maybe because that's what many of us know better. Maybe it could be a good idea to create a new thread and discuss all the other nice areas? I would be delighted to hear from areas I don't know much about.

And thank you cuckooclock for the tips on secondary schools!

maggiethecat Sun 13-Feb-11 14:29:41

Bookswapper, if you would disclose then maybe we would not all be chasing after these elusive schools.

The schools recommended to us were by dh's prospective colleagues and interestingly the OP is with the NHS as well.

Janeywany Sun 13-Feb-11 20:21:19

Hi Everyone, thanks for really insightful discussion. I guess the problem for us relocaters is that as we generally don't have word-of-mouth and playground chat to go by, we have to rely on what is available, and unfortunately that's the blunt instruments of league tables and HMIE reports. Nothing would ever be decided without visits first!!!

cuckooclock Sun 13-Feb-11 20:37:37

And can I add Firrhill and St Thomas's to the list I put up earlier, they also have good exam results and I forgot them, sorry!

ratspeaker Sun 13-Feb-11 21:57:07

Fihill and St Thomas's are in recently rebuilt schools as is Holy Rood High
Portobello High is due for rebulding, from word of mouth it has a good orchestra.

From personal experience I like Leith Academy Secondary.
It doesnt feel like a school building with it slight airy atrium. I found the staff very supportive. Swimming pool and drama theatre onsite

Bookswapper Mon 14-Feb-11 18:41:01

Ok one last message to be polite before I ignore these threads forever...Corstorphine primary came second behind st peters in terms of numbers of kids meeting the standard in reading writing and maths last year. It feeds into Craigmount high, rebuilt recently, which h a great reputation for getting kids into Russell group universities. It was in a list of such establishments on the BBC news website a few years ago. Last year the debating society beat heriots in a national competition. And it has an award winning pipe band. And lots of placing requests! Just shows it pays to do the research behind the stats.

Bookswapper Mon 14-Feb-11 19:22:53

And when you are looking at those stats, factor in the number of children in the school against the percentages you are given. There really are only a few kids in it between the school at the top of the list to the schools in the middle! So ignore everything I said above!

maggiethecat Tue 15-Feb-11 20:22:41

I've never considered table standings to be the single most important factor in deciding schools although they are of some value. Our current head gladly accepts children with SEN unlike some other schools and we know that factors such as these affect results.

Bookswapper Wed 16-Feb-11 22:18:16

just back because I found the link...disclaimer: its from 2007. It has other Edinburgh schools on it too which is very good news.

research

Rhadegunde Fri 18-Feb-11 11:04:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Janeywany Fri 11-Mar-11 22:00:33

Hi everyone again, and thanks for all the input. Thought I'd update,,,

Have got place in Sciennes (lovely head) for DD and Strawberry Hill for DS.

All boxes ticked, and looking forward to the move north

xxx and thanks again

cuckooclock Sat 12-Mar-11 14:13:40

Janeywany - good luck with the move! I am sure you will love Edinburgh

maggiethecat Sun 13-Mar-11 13:28:12

Glad to hear Janey - sounds like you got on with things and got what you wanted.

We liked Sciennes as well and agree that the head and deputy whom we met are lovely.

What did you like about the school?

evitas Tue 15-Mar-11 09:05:26

Janeyway - good luck with the move! Hope everything goes well. x

fairylights Wed 16-Mar-11 19:52:13

good luck with the move - we relocated here last August and were in similar position of not knowing where on earth to start with finding where to live and which schools to go for etc..
think you have been wise to work backwards from high school, we are nearish Stockbridge and very happy with the primary ds is at, but a little anxious about secondary options.. Edinburgh is such a crazy city in that 25% kids go to private schools. Fine if you can afford it but a bit rubbish for the rest of us!! Anyway, hope you settle in well, we love being here despite the weather smile

fairylights Wed 16-Mar-11 19:52:56

sorry that should have said 25% of kids got to private schools for secondary..

tree568 Fri 27-Jan-12 17:46:06

The state school for Stockbridge is Broughton High. It's a rebuilt school, so has all the mod cons. It's also home to the National Dance Academy and has a good rep for drama. The flip side, and I would say this applies to all of the North Edinburgh secondary schools, including Trinity Academy, is that it has its rough element. Well off people on the Northern side of town tend to send their children to Stewart's Melville/Mary Erskine schools if they like single sex education, Fettes if they want an English curriculum education and Edinburgh Academy or Heriots if they want a Scottish based education.

For Boroughmuir and James Gillespies, they have their share of drugs and drink problems. Those groups of schoolkids drinking cider and the like in big circles in the meadows around and after dusk are from those schools. Lots of pocket money, older cousins or siblings to go and by the booze/drugs, and parents working too long hours. Boroughmuir doesn't have much space. They ahve been looking to relocate for ages. James Gillespies , like Portobello, also a good school, needs to be rebuilt. The girls toilets and heating problems at both schools are well known. Boroughmuir have police stationed at the school. This is not as bad as it sounds - they have really nipped a lot of the problems at that school (as opposed to what goes on after school) in the bud. it's amazing what police presence can do for a school in terms of general standards of behaviour.

If I knew then what I know now, I would have sent my children to somewhere like the Royal High or Firhill. State schools, but well attended by the well off as well as the poorer students.

For private schools, Steiner would be top of my list (Spylaw Road).

pattymcmeans Wed 10-Apr-13 21:51:36

Hi, I realize this is an old topic, but I am re-locating from the USA to Edinburgh, and I have a daughter going into S2 in the Fall. We've been referred to Gillespie's or Boroughmuir. Can anyone tell me about these schools in a more on-the-ground way, beyond what I can fond out about their websites?
What is their reputation? What are they known to specialise in?
Any information is helpful! Thanks

emma6776 Tue 18-Jun-13 14:07:03

My sister has taught at two of the very well regarded primary schools named above, but is desperate to move to Costorphne before she starts her family, in order to get her (future) child in Costorphine primary!

WillPenn Thu 20-Jun-13 10:43:06

patty, this may be a bit late, but we are in Boroughmuir catchment with DDs due to go there after primary school. I know a number of parents with children currently at the school who are very pleased indeed with it. Their children have been happy there and have done well academically. There are also quite a few extra-curricular activities encouraged - music etc. I would have no hesitation about sending my kids to Boroughmuir - it is a great school and I think in general the Scottish education system is far better than the English one.

Boroughmuir will also be in a new building in a few years time. Work on the new site is scheduled to start in 2014 and there will be no disruption at the current site as the new location is down the road.

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