ES: Houses near good London primary schools:where to find family-sized homes with educational staying power

A nice writeup for the area from the Evening Standard, Homes & Property section last week:

Forest Hill in south-east London is a double treat, with an impressive cluster of Ofsted “outstanding” primary schools and some surprisingly affordable housing.

Parents move to the area for the chance of a place at a top-performing school such as St George’s CofE Primary School, Eliot Bank Primary School, or Kilmorie Primary School, and all the other primaries have at least “good” reports from the schools watchdog.

Forest Hill is also better value than more fashionable neighbours such as East Dulwich and Honor Oak Park, and it has great commuter links, with a trip to London Bridge taking from 15 minutes. But families will still need to get to know its streets to find the best value.

The Signal, The Dartmouth Arms, and The Hill all get a mention as being popular too.


The secondary schools in Lewisham have been a problem for a long time. I suspect they would be better if parents did not move out of the borough.

It’s not just Lewisham, all over London it’s the same. And it’s why people always leave.

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Are Sydenham and Forest Hill schools actually that bad?

They are the same as the rest of London. The primary schools are smaller and more manageable.

The issue is at secondary level, they all merge together and your kids will be sitting along side the worst kids in the area (who are now older, more disruptive or worse).

Now…parents are overly fearful of something that may never happen. But that’s just the way it is. Hence why many either go private or move out of London.

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Sydenham School is a great secondary school for girls.

Forest Hill boys secondary school is improving - with many parents now choosing to send their boys to this school as opposed to considering to move to another area.


I seem to remember that Sydenham School had the best results in Lewisham one year.

My theory is that if Lewisham parents stayed in Lewisham (rather than moving out) , Lewisham secondary schools would improve.

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Quite probably true. You go first.


Ofsted rated Forest Hill as “Requires Improvement” after their December 2017 inspection, when previously it was “good”. While Ofsted is far from everything, at a casual glance this may cause enough concern for parents to look at other options - if available.

Sydenham girls’ was outstanding in 2007, and now Ofsted rated “good” since 2010, having been most recently visited on 14 March 2017.

I think it important to look at the Ofsted inspection in greater detail as schools have been market down for paperwork whilst the teaching element is very good. I am not saying this is the case for FHB but just worth considering.


I think FHB is a PFI school, which has caused financial problems in the past.

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I wouldn’t be very keen on a school that did not show their work through their paperwork and practiced what the teachers say to kids about show your working out. It is understandable if they were marked down.

FHS has had a few issues in the past with finance and teaching staff but the only way is up now. Sydenham was in the same position but worked hard and got a good Ofsted, after that the system is worked by parents so that the intake changes over time making it easier for the school. I am not saying that SS is not a great school just that FHS will effectively have to pedal twice as fast to catch-up and I hope it does.

I think it is probably a bit more staggered than that especially when there are multiple siblings involved. Parents rarely let go of a place in an Ofsted outstanding school if they can avoid it so many will
continue to drive their kids back into the borough even if they have moved out for secondary school.

Eliot Bank at the top of Thorpewood Avenue is an outstanding school with a small catchment area but it causes serious traffic congestion, safety issues for road users and anti-social parking over residents’ driveways by parents driving to the school. Councillor Gibbons is mediating between the school and residents who feel their lives are blighted by verbal abuse from some parents including physical threats when they are asked to stop blocking a driveway. The question everybody asks is why do people need to drive and the answer in many cases is that they have moved out of borough to get a secondary school but want their kids to still avail of the excellent primary school.


Paperwork as in school administration, not course work.

Lewisham just have to introduce the same rule that other councils have. Which was if you move x miles away from the school, the sibling no longer gets a preference. But common sense seems to be difficult concept for Lewisham Council. Yes there will always be some over lap, but it reduces the problem.

As for parents behaviour at school drop off / pick up. Every single school in the World encounters this problem. School pick up and drop off is statistically one of the most dangerous places to be in terms of traffic incidents and people getting run over. You will never solve this issue. Hence don’t live next to a school if you can avoid it.

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Sounds a bit defeatist to ask the residents to move because of entitled parents bullying behaviour. I can understand it being a global problem but I am sure more direct cultures probably eradicate the problem themselves quickly
whereas we rely on Councillor Gibbons and Lewisham to talk nicely to the school and parents to solve the issue.