Best schools in Surbiton

11 years ago...

Please can anyone advise on the best state primary schools in Surbiton?

Also, are there any primary schools to avoid?


If you want private it has to be Surbiton High of course. I hear that Tolworth Infants and Juniors are very good too. I agree that Athelstan would be the last choice.

Tolworth Infants gets a quite high added value scores. it's a lovely school with a fantastic head - liked and respected by students and parents.

I agree, my grandson goes there, lovely teachers and head. Recommended - if you can get in !

Probably best to check the league tables, but anecdotally I have heard that St Andrews & St Marks on Maple Road is very well regarded and difficult to get into, so I guess you would have to live very close by to stand a chance.

King Athelstan school over the border into Kingston seems to be the last choice, probably because of it's proximity to the Cambridge Estate.

They're all good. Most people generally pick their nearest and hope they get a place in it - they're aren't any failing / problem schools.

If you want to focus on the league tables, the results go up and down each year, but from what I can remember, all the Surbiton Schools have good scores, in absolute terms anyway.

Their added value scores mightn't be spectacular though. Rough translation - they're getting bright kids in, and sending them out at roughly the same educational level 7 years later. Imo, a good school is one that sends them out at a higher educational level than they went in at 7 years before, so if you must be driven by league tables, look at the added value, not absolute scores.

But don't get hung up on these league tables - talk to local parents, the concensus is that they're all good. Lime Tree won't be in the league tables obviously, but I'm led to believe that the head teacher of the new Lime Tree is very well regarded, and has ambitious plans for the new school. Its location, close to the station should make it popular with commuting parents.

The only problem with schools over the last 4/5 years has been able to get into them, as there's been a massive shortage of school places locally. If you're applying for your eldest, you should realisitically expect to get a place in one of Surbiton's five primary schools, but you won't have any firm idea of which one until you get your offer.

The council typically add temporary bulge classes after applications are received, once they know roughly how many places they have underprovided. That's not the way it should work - enough places should be provided in advance, to give parents a worry free idea of where they'll be commuting to, but they've made a mockery of that down here.

Despite recently building a brand new school (Lime Tree Primary), and expanding both Grand Avenue & St Matthews, there's still a shortage of places. This coming September there will be two temporary bulge classes of 30 added at Maple Infants and the new Lime Tree (only built for a 60 pupil intake, not the 90 they're actually taking when they open). These bulge classes were only announced in April, many months after the application deadline. In absece of any council plans/government money to provide another 60 permanent places, I'd expect that these extra bulge classes will continue to be provided in different schools each year. Hopefully they'll be in Surbiton where the shortage of places is greatest.

Assuming you're applying for your eldest, he/she will be get in on distance criteria, behind siblings of existing pupils (and special needs) kids. Church schools additionally add church attendance, church activity, etc in their criteria. Living closer to a given school will generally increase your chances of getting in (apart form Christ Chrurch, see below).

The catchment distances vary each year, according to overall demand. In some years the last kid in on distance criteria at Maple Infants lived something like 700m. Over the last few years, Christ Church has effectively stopped taking local children purely on distance criteria, with 99% of places going to CoE attenders and siblings of existing pupils. I heard talk that some kids living in the same street didn't get in, so unless you're religious, don't expect to get a place there.

St Matthews, however, even though it is also CoE run, takes more non CoE kids, so if you're close to it, you might get a place there.

I would agree with the above - all schools in Surbiton are good and wherever your child ends up, s/he will be in a good place. I think that ultimately, it is all about expectations - if the parent has certain views and preferences, then that will dictate their choices and they may or may not end up being disappointed. For example, if you like all things new, then Lime Tree is your kind of school and you will be impressed with its space, equipment, latest IT, light, etc. Some people however don’t believe that this is what makes a child a good learner, and they prefer tried and tested ‘what works’ type of education, established links with the community, parental involvement (often seen best in church schools), pastoral care, etc. If you have religious inclinations, try one of Surbiton’s church schools, but if not, I personally, wouldn’t pretend to be religious because it is your child who will suffer and you will be confused as s/he comes home with faith-related school work and you are lost for words. My children are at Our Lady Immaculate and we are all loving it there but it is not for everyone. My point, there is something for everyone is Surbiton schools, we are all different, so you just have to think what you are your family can live with for the next seven years and what works for you. I totally agree that added value is something to watch out for (if you are into League Tables) but the best guide is your own research and general feel for the place. Oh there is that slight problem of getting into the school in the first place! So the more realistic you are about your expectations and the closer you live to the school, the better. The rest is out of your hands. And finally, look at secondary schools and which primary school feeds into which secondary school – again, this is largely down to post code unless you go to one of the church school in which case you have a better chance of getting into Holy Cross or Richard Chanellor, currently regarded as slightly better amongst the locals state secondaries – based on added value…unless you go grammar or private which, of course, is a whole new research project for you.

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