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.

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And then they move out to try and find a decent secondary school.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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