If you’re a family looking at a house move in Surrey, schools are probably a big consideration – especially secondary schools where the location you choose can make or break your child’s chance of a place at one of the county’s top state establishments.
Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, most exams and assessments did not take place in 2020 or 2021. As a result, the government did not publish data tables for English schools in the normal way last autumn, and the same will be true for 2021.
Based on the most recent (2019) figures, the top 10 Surrey schools in the league table of overall performance at end of key stage 4 (after sitting GCSEs) is as follows:
St John the Baptist Catholic Comprehensive, Woking
St Peter’s Catholic School, Guildford
Salesian School, Chertsey
Rosebery School, Epsom
St Andrew’s Catholic School, Leatherhead
Hinchley Wood School, Esher
St Bede’s School, Redhill
Gordon’s School, West End
Heathside School, Weybridge
Weydon School, Farnham
The schools are ranked according to the so-called Progress 8 score. This score shows how much progress pupils made between the end of primary school and sitting their GCSEs, compared to others across England who got similar results. The tables also show the percentage of pupils gaining grade 5 or higher in English and maths at GCSE. See the table rankings on the gov.uk website to find out more.
Nine of the schools in the top 10 have also been judged outstanding by Ofsted, with Heathside School rated good.
If you will be applying for a school place for your child in the next few years, it’s a good idea to start your research early – especially if you are planning a house move. Begin by reading Surrey County Council’s web pages and secondary school admission booklet – the 2022 edition is published on 6 September 2021.
Parents are advised to check each school’s website or the booklet for its admissions criteria to see how places are allocated, and how many children applied and were offered a place last year.
Many children will be offered a place based on the distance from their home to the school. The maximum distance that schools offered places last year is given in the admission booklet.
Remember, while people often talk about school catchment areas, these don’t really exist. The distances given in the booklet are only an indication as these will vary each year depending on how many children apply to each school and how many applications come from children higher up the admissions criteria – those with special educational needs or siblings at the school, for example.
It’s also important to note that many of the top 10 schools in Surrey, listed above are Catholic or Church of England schools, where those practising the faith will be prioritised for places above other applicants.
Schools which also score well, but are not faith schools, include Woking High School, George Abbot School, Guildford, Royal Alexandra and Albert School, Reigate (all rated good by Ofsted) and Guildford County School (outstanding).
When applying for a secondary school place, you can name up to six schools in order of your preference. Parents are advised to name at least some schools where, based on previous years, their children are likely to be offered a place.
Naming fewer schools on your list of preferences does not increase the chance of you being offered a place at one of your chosen schools and may mean you receive an offer of a place much further away. However, you should list your preferences in order. This means that if you don’t receive your first choice, you will be able to join the waiting list in case a place comes up.
According to the Surrey County website, “whilst we have a responsibility to make a school place available to each Surrey child, it may not be at one of your named preferences or at your closest school.”
If you are looking to move home in Surrey, and schools are a priority for you, we’d be happy to advise. Contact us for a chat today.
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