Confused about where to live, schools, etc....(16 Posts)
We will shortly be moving to Edinburgh but know very little about the city. We have spent time in Bruntsfield and Morningside on holiday and liked the areas but there are no places in any of my 3 children's years at either Boroughmuir/Bruntsfield or James Gillespies/South Morningside. George Watsons and George Heriots are also full for their years.
It looks like Mary Erskine/Stewart's Melville have places and that will probably be our choice so that we can get the children into school and settled rather than put them on waiting lists and have to move and start again months down the line.
But... we don't know the area around those schools apart from a quick drive past ME. We are looking for a bustling community feel but around ME felt a bit quiet after Bruntsfield and we also liked being walking distance to the centre from Bruntsfield. Is there any point moving to Bruntsfield/Morningside when the children travel to ESMS? I know there are school buses but I'm not sure how we will get involved in the community if the children aren't at local schools. Or is there a similar bustling area near the schools?
Or should we look to base ourselves in other areas, eg. Trinity and try the local primary schools there (older children could go to ESMS due to time scales)? If so, can anyone suggest good areas/primary schools to try?
Ideally, we would like an Edwardian type house too rather than a flat or bungalow type home.
Apologies for all the questions. This is a big move for the family and I want to try and get everyone settled and happy quickly.
Hello, that's a big search area, which makes it harder to advise you! I have no involvement with private schools so can't help with that, but I never saw them as places people lived close to - that's kind of the point, you can live anywhere and use those schools unlike the state ones. Assuming you are fairly wealthy you could look at Stockbridge, nice primaries there and definitely a community. Or Wardie in Trinity. Davidson Mains too is good. Flats are all around in the city centre, more likely to get a house in the other places I've mentioned. Can you come up to visit again before you make up your mind?
Tollcross Primary tends to have places and is easy to get to from the likes of Bruntsfield. Nice houses in Merchiston would be within walking distance. Feels a bit less middle class than S M'side etc but attainment above average.
The whole 'deal' with private schools in Edinburgh is that people don't really live near them, as a pp said. I mean, one is likely to be more handy than the other, but you don't live in a 'catchment' as such.
I'm astonished that essentially four schools are totally full! Things do change a lot during the year though... I would say that practically all of the primary schools are fine in the kind of areas you're looking at, and once you're in primary you'll feed automatically, so can you see what the other feeder schools are for Boroughmuir and Gillespies and see if that would work for your primary school kids at least? And once you're in catchment, obviously you stand a far greater chance of getting the next available place for the high schools.
Thanks everyone. I'll give the schools you mentioned a call.
Yes to the ridiculousness of 6 schools being full. It's the difficulty of moving with multiple and slightly older children.
I have a DD at Mary Erskine and can't recommend it highly enough. I don't know what age your children are but I would say that anyone I know who started off living on the south side and sent their kids to our school, ends up moving to the north side as it's too much hassle! Getting across town in time for school is a nightmare and then you have to factor in getting back after the various clubs and after school activities that go on. If you are dead set on living in Bruntsfield, I would wait until you get a spare at GWC or Heriots- it will make your life so much simpler!
Happy to answer any questions you may have on ESMS!
Thank you cocopops for the much needed 'move near to ESMS' push. I do have questions so will send you a PM over the weekend.
Two things, one - I don't believe feeder primaries do automatically feed into the high schools. Children will be allocated a high school based on the catchment they live in. So kids in the same class as primary end up going to a variety of high schools depending where they live.
Two - I don't think it is ridiculous for schools to be full. They are regarded as desirable schools and families living in catchment for less desirable schools queue up to get in, that's in addition to the people that pay a massive premium on their house price to be in catchment and get a guaranteed place. It would be more ridiculous if great schools had empty seats in their classrooms. But there is movement, e.g. parents move their children onto private when the price drops at whatever age, when their circumstances change and they can afford etc etc. If you live in catchment you'll get in eventually, but they can't have empty seats year round just in case someone decides to move into catchment.
All of that said it looks like you're going private, so that's kind of for the benefit of anyone else who reads the thread and goes off thinking once their kids are in a primary they automatically get into the high school it feeds to.
As long as you stay in the catchment of the primary you'll be in the catchment of the secondary - but if you move in the intervening years or had a placement request to start with then you won't.
The secondary may or may not have extra places to take you of course.
We live in Marchmont and the 41 goes from Marchmont road and drops off right outside esms. Alternatively the 38 from foot of morningside drops at Mary erskine. There is a intersite bus between schools.
Don't know what age your kids are but clubs such as judo, scouts and the like will give you that local friends piece. Attached org is great for older kids p7 plus
I the it is really important to live somewhere you like - Edinburgh is relatively small so I wouldn't let the school situation put you off as it is so doable.
DD went to ME so happy to answer any questions you might have. Also have previous connections to GW, GH & StG so quite knowledgeable on several of the private schools. The ESMS schols have several buses that bring pupils from all over east scotland so have a look at that (on their website and that may give you an indication of what may be doable. From experience not many families live that near to the schools but when they are older it is nice to be able to give them that bit of independance even if just occasionally.
If you are thinking about Trinity, Edinburgh Academy is the closest private school. It can be a bit of a faff getting across the city.
Davidsons Mains has a nice community feel but not sure about houses.
We live in Corstorphine and are happy with it. Ironically when dh and I got together Craiglockhart was where we decided we would live and ended up living at the Gyle. We then moved to a bigger house in Corstorphine. I like the area and transport links are pretty good.
I run brownies and we have girls from a variety of private schools and they often settle quickly despite knowing no one.
Thank you for all the recent replies and offers of help re ESMS.
I don't know much about Youth Clubs - I'm pretty sure we don't have any where we currently live - and 3Ms looks great. Are there others in the city?
And a good point about Brownies, judo, etc.
As we will be renting to being with are there other central schools I should be contacting? I only tried Boroughmuir/James Gillespies and the associated primaries because that was the area we stayed in. Searching on ESPC Wardies, Flora Stevenson's, Broughton High come up as inside the admission areas for various properties - are these good options? Any others? And any to avoid?
Broughton high has become a fabulous school in recent years and is now up with the other top schools in Edinburgh such as gillespies! Trinity primary great, and has a balance of children after p7 either heading to private or attending the local high the area is lovely and so close to town, though trinity academy doesn't currently have the best name, it has a new head and is definitely expected to improve! Edinburgh has so many great primaries that it is very common for children to go to private for high school only by which age they are more than able to use the excellent public transport network to get about! However obviously life is easier for everyone if closer! Edinburgh academy in trinity area has an excellent reputation!
Broughton's higher results are nowhere near that of Gillespies and are much more comparable to Trinity's. Both areas suffer from the "private for secondary" drain. That said I would happily send my dcs to any of these schools.
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