Moving to Winchester...schools
I hope this is the correct place to post for advice. We have decided to move to Winchester to be closer to husbands work. Moving down from Surrey with 3 kids only my DS of 6 is school age going into Year 2 in Sep, looking at the Ofsted reports for the state primary schools, very impressive . My question is, if we buy a house in the catchment area of either St. Faiths or St. Bedes in the hope of gaining a spot in those schools - what are our chances? I can see those two schools were oversubscribed in 2015. I would also consider Private but not Pilgrims as I'm not keen on boys only for primary. Is there any need to go Private when the State schools are so exceptional? Also, what is the most family friendly area in Winchester? I like the idea of living in the city centre and being able to walk everywhere and to the station as may be going back to work in London - are there many Mums commuting to London for work? Thanks so much for answering these random questions!
Hello. We moved down to Winchester a couple of years ago now. It's a nice place to live, very friendly. both my husband and I commute to London but for most people I know only one of them does this and it's usually the dad.
Re schools if you are looking for a year two entry think it will depend on where there is a space rather than the catchment you are in, check the admissions policies though because of your other children. A lot of schools in Winchester only give preference to siblings if they live in catchment. While St Faith's doesn't do this I would be surprised if a place became available as there as there are only 20 places, St Bede's has 60 so there is likely to be more movement. I personally don't see the point in going private as if be happy with pretty much any primary here. However people say good things about Princess Mead which is mixed.
As well as the two you mention I think Fullflood is also worth a look. It's good for schools and close to town and the station.
Princes Mead is good, also Twyford. My eldest DD is at St Swithuns but we live about half an hour outside Winchester
There are no bad Winchester primaries (or secondaries). Most, such as the two you've identified, are excellent. Winnall, Stanmore & perhaps Oliver's Battery are perhaps the least popular although I suspect that had more to do with their perceived demographic than what they're actually like. They're also the schools most likely to have a place.
To stand a chance with St B or St F, you need to be living in catchment and prepared to wait. My DC are at St B - one going in to Yr 2 - and there is not a lot of movement, even with an intake of 60. Your best chance may be to sit it out until the end of Y2 or Y3 when some children move to the private schools.
The village schools may also be worth a look if you don't mind a drive. Owslebury, Compton and Twyford St Mary are all excellent and more likely to have places than the city schools.
Commuting to London: lots of people do it, including plenty of mothers, but it's hard when you both do it. You'll need really good childcare, maybe a nanny, as the after school clubs close at 6 and SW trains is not reliable.
House prices are very high and competition is fierce for the few that come up in Hyde, Fulflood or St Cross. Traffic is AWFUL and parking worse but despite that it's a lovely place to live. Hope you find somewhere that suits.
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