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Topic: Malvern or York for better schools? Need to start narrowing down.  (Read 1496 times)

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My husband and I are moving over in 18 months to 2 years, depending how how fast we can save up [I refuse to move with any debt and want lots of savings; selling house right now and need a brain break and wanna think about the future!]
We have three children, who are entering 6th grade, 5th grade, and Kindergarten right now.  The eldest will hopefully be in 8th grade [year 9 there according to my niece] when we come over.
So we really want to live close to family/friends and/or familiar places for husband, and so those are the two cities we like the most.  We agree on both, anyway.  So I'm here asking if anyone has experience with both [or either] towns and school aged kids.  I recognize that there are always a variety of schools in each area, but if anyone knows anything, I'd appreciate the input.
We are open to other places, of course, but he's lived in both of those places and *I* like them.  He's originally from Yorkshire, too, so it's home, really. My MIL will go where ever we settle, and likely my adult niece will follow.
Advantages of Worcestershire: close to where immediate family already live. MIL and SIL and Niece and Nephews are in Coventry. Uncle and cousins in Birmingham. In the middle.
Advantages of Yorkshire: Other family are there [aunts uncles cousins]. It's home for him. We are 'country' people and will be moving from a very rural place [Rural Georgia]. I know there are country places all over the UK, but IDK, Yorkshire kinda feels more right if ya know what I mean? 
Other than all that, we don't have a whole lot of knowledge about where is best for our girls.
I feel like I need to compile some pro-con lists and then let my husband make the final choice.
About our girls: they've been living on a 2 acre private place for the last 4 years.  They love being outside.  Riding bikes, swinging in the hammocks, digging in the dirt, etc.  But they are super white and do not like the heat here.
They also are all voracious readers and love science and history and MAPS.  They are going to love it there.  They all have a very strong identity of being British, even though they have never lived there.  They are close with their Nan and cousins and video chat with them all the time.
As soon as things open up, we are going to do some more in person research and bring them to both places, but in the mean time, I'd like to gather some intel.
Other considerations: I will likely be going back to school for Engineering even before we come.  I'm interested in building Nanobots. We both work from home and I will definitely be keeping my job indefinitely. He will likely also be transferring with his.
Thank you!
4 December 2005--Met in ATL, Moved in together
July 2006--First visit to the UK, met his Mum
Feb 2007--Eloped and told everyone we were engaged ;)
May 2007--Wedding, Part 1 in Pine Mountain, GA;
Sept 2007--Wedding, Part 2 in Scarborough, UK
Nov ‘08–1st Child
May ‘10–2nd Child
June 2013--Decided to move to the UK!
July 2013-Jan 2016–family tragedies. Delayed move
April ‘15–3rd Child
2019...planning again
January 2022–applying for visa!
Goal: Get Eldest in UK school by year 9!
Hopefully moving to Malvern June 2022


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Re: Malvern or York for better schools? Need to start narrowing down.
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2020, 08:03:13 AM »
I can't speak about schooling and I've never been to Malvern, but I cannonly say york is gorgeous and well located to some beautiful places in Yorkshire. I know others who have moved there because it's not only gorgeous but your money also goes so much further in terms of what you get for a house compared to other parts of the country. 2 years is a long way off though so it will all depend on what is right for you in 1-1.5 years time. Take the kids when it's possible and see what their thoughts are on both but keep in mind that school ratings can change in 2 year's time as can a lot of things. I know it's exciting to start planning ASAP but it may be hard to get into too many specifics this far out.

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Re: Malvern or York for better schools? Need to start narrowing down.
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2020, 08:31:35 AM »
I can talk about York. Till the cows come home. House prices within the city are more expensive than even a short distance away. A two bed terraced house with a tiny yard (gardens exist, but are more rare), no parking will easily set you back £300k - yes that’s cheap by southern standards, but the average salary in the uk is something like £24k pa, so this is expensive compared to some/ many areas.

Whereas where I live, that will easily buy you a four bed detached house with a decent (for uk) garden.

But York schools are really only applicable if you live pretty much within York itself. Outside York (I live less than 20 miles away), the picture becomes a bit more blurred, especially with secondary schools (which start in year 7/6th grade).

I know schools will form part of the moving decision, but it’s hard to be specific without knowing more. Yorkshire is a big place (largest county in England) and has many areas. I’d recommend staying away from West Yorkshire as it’s more urban/suburban (though the moors are lovely and rural), which doesn’t sound like what you’re after).

Btw - I quit teaching in York schools two years ago but all my friends are still teachers (many still at York schools). So I can try to answer questions once I can be a bit more specific.

Everything depends on your budget.

Please take ofsted reports with a HUGE pinch of salt. In fact, maybe don’t even look at them - the outcome of the report is predetermined in 90% of reports. Most aren’t really worth the paper they’re written on...

And what is a great school for some won’t be great for everyone.

Is private something you’d be looking into at all?


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Re: Malvern or York for better schools? Need to start narrowing down.
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2020, 04:02:35 AM »
I'm from a small town of less than a thousand people in Rural GA and we are moving back there once our house sells and staying until we have 1] Enough money to move with our stuff [I'm trimming, but I'm keeping most of my good/well built furniture], 2] Immigration even opens back up, and 3] I have insisted we need money for a deposit to buy a house. Living so much more cheaply but with our same income, it shouldn't be a problem.  If my husband ever goes back into the office, they've already announced they'd be only doing 2 days a week, which he could just drive up and spend the night with a friend!

All that to say we are rural people.  I think near those cities, but outside in a village would probably be better for our family.  We are currently living on the outer edges of ATL in a mostly rural town, but my kids will be playing on the hundred acre farm I grew up on for the next little while. There is basically no chance we would want to live in the city center!

I'd LOVE help navigating the area around York.  Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
4 December 2005--Met in ATL, Moved in together
July 2006--First visit to the UK, met his Mum
Feb 2007--Eloped and told everyone we were engaged ;)
May 2007--Wedding, Part 1 in Pine Mountain, GA;
Sept 2007--Wedding, Part 2 in Scarborough, UK
Nov ‘08–1st Child
May ‘10–2nd Child
June 2013--Decided to move to the UK!
July 2013-Jan 2016–family tragedies. Delayed move
April ‘15–3rd Child
2019...planning again
January 2022–applying for visa!
Goal: Get Eldest in UK school by year 9!
Hopefully moving to Malvern June 2022


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Re: Malvern or York for better schools? Need to start narrowing down.
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2020, 09:36:31 AM »
Ahh, not a ton of advice as I don't live down that way. But there are plenty of gorgeous rural places in and around Yorkshire. Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors are stunning.

I hear you on loving rural life! I live in a tiny village in the Scottish Highlands and it's awesome. Our goal is to move out further into the countryside though and out of the village.   :)
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Re: Malvern or York for better schools? Need to start narrowing down.
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2020, 01:29:18 PM »

I hear you on loving rural life! I live in a tiny village in the Scottish Highlands and it's awesome. Our goal is to move out further into the countryside though and out of the village.   :)

Had enough of that big city livin'?  ;)


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Re: Malvern or York for better schools? Need to start narrowing down.
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2020, 01:30:53 PM »
Too crowded!   Need more room for more chickens!!!  ;D
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Re: Malvern or York for better schools? Need to start narrowing down.
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2020, 01:52:21 PM »
Too crowded!   Need more room for more chickens!!!  ;D

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Re: Malvern or York for better schools? Need to start narrowing down.
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2020, 08:31:43 PM »
North of York is fairly expensive wetherby, Harrogate, Helmsley etc until you start to get REALLY north of York.

South and towards the west starts getting cheaper. Think more towards Selby/ Sherburn in Elmet. But don’t go too far west...

Then there are super rural places that are a bit harder to get to, the the Dales (HAwes is lovely or maybe Skipton but that is quite far West, but still in North Yorkshire!) and the North YOrkshire Moors (Goathland, as a name to google springs to mind).

First you need to narrow down on area, then start thinking about schools. Not all rural/ small town schools are fab. But many are. Often good schools are linked to higher house prices (as with everything.

Timings-wise, I absolutely would more before the eldest hits year 9 (8th grade) as it becomes MUCH more difficult to ‘slot’ into the English curriculum after that as most schools run at least some 3 years GCSEs (which finish at the end of Year 11).

Rightmove is a great website to start to get an idea of house prices/ different areas. It also tells you what schools people in those areas go to!


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Re: Malvern or York for better schools? Need to start narrowing down.
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2020, 11:48:12 PM »
Thank you!  I've already been on Rightmove looking and there are definitely some houses within our budget in those areas. I think we'd go East, to be honest, if we were trying to get a bit out of York, as Family is in Driffield and Scarborough.
4 December 2005--Met in ATL, Moved in together
July 2006--First visit to the UK, met his Mum
Feb 2007--Eloped and told everyone we were engaged ;)
May 2007--Wedding, Part 1 in Pine Mountain, GA;
Sept 2007--Wedding, Part 2 in Scarborough, UK
Nov ‘08–1st Child
May ‘10–2nd Child
June 2013--Decided to move to the UK!
July 2013-Jan 2016–family tragedies. Delayed move
April ‘15–3rd Child
2019...planning again
January 2022–applying for visa!
Goal: Get Eldest in UK school by year 9!
Hopefully moving to Malvern June 2022


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  • Y'all watch out! Here I come.
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Re: Malvern or York for better schools? Need to start narrowing down.
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2020, 05:52:48 AM »

Timings-wise, I absolutely would more before the eldest hits year 9 (8th grade) as it becomes MUCH more difficult to ‘slot’ into the English curriculum after that as most schools run at least some 3 years GCSEs (which finish at the end of Year 11).



Thank you. I am a bit worried about that.  I think if I don't feel comfortable coming [money wise] or the visa situation doesn't open up soon enough, then we do need to try and figure out what we can do.  Of course, my Husband can go ahead and move over and bring her earlier, but we really don't want to be apart. She is very bright, and could probably handle anything thrown at her, curriculum-wise.  But I wonder if she couldn't do some sort of parallel study while she is still here so that she's ready?
4 December 2005--Met in ATL, Moved in together
July 2006--First visit to the UK, met his Mum
Feb 2007--Eloped and told everyone we were engaged ;)
May 2007--Wedding, Part 1 in Pine Mountain, GA;
Sept 2007--Wedding, Part 2 in Scarborough, UK
Nov ‘08–1st Child
May ‘10–2nd Child
June 2013--Decided to move to the UK!
July 2013-Jan 2016–family tragedies. Delayed move
April ‘15–3rd Child
2019...planning again
January 2022–applying for visa!
Goal: Get Eldest in UK school by year 9!
Hopefully moving to Malvern June 2022


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Re: Malvern or York for better schools? Need to start narrowing down.
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2020, 07:35:57 AM »
The other problem after year 9 is getting places. Schools are reluctant to take on new pupils too because, perversely, schools are judged on the results of their pupils. If they weren’t there for the whole course, and don’t do well, on paper it makes the school look bad (which is stupid).

Unless you hone in on a school, you won’t know what exam boards they follow, what their order of teaching is, etc... honestly it’s a minefield - avoid moving after the start of year 9 at all costs.

I know international moves are a minefield anyway, but I can not recommend avoiding this particular one in stronger terms.

I have some friends who are quite happy near Goole and Beverly. Gets quite rural. Right on the coast can be expensive (Scarborough is probably an exception but has some huge social issues because many people are patrolled from prison and put in a bedsit there). Whitby is a particular favourite of mine.

Malton is a market town and reasonably nice.

Can’t comment on individual schools that far from York though!

Scarborough college is an independent out that way. St Mary’s goes through to GCSEs and I know the head quite well - she is a lovely women and absolutely fab with the girls. Also independent... but those are the only ones I know that far from York, I’m afraid...


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2004-2008: Student Visa
2008-2010: Tier 1 PSW
2010-2011: Tier 4
2011-2014: Tier 2
2013-2016: New Tier 2 (changed jobs)
16/12/15: SET (LR) successful! - It's been a long road...
12/05/16: Citizenship ceremony!


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  • Y'all watch out! Here I come.
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Re: Malvern or York for better schools? Need to start narrowing down.
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2020, 08:02:55 AM »
The other problem after year 9 is getting places. Schools are reluctant to take on new pupils too because, perversely, schools are judged on the results of their pupils. If they weren’t there for the whole course, and don’t do well, on paper it makes the school look bad (which is stupid).

Unless you hone in on a school, you won’t know what exam boards they follow, what their order of teaching is, etc... honestly it’s a minefield - avoid moving after the start of year 9 at all costs.

I know international moves are a minefield anyway, but I can not recommend avoiding this particular one in stronger terms.

I have some friends who are quite happy near Goole and Beverly. Gets quite rural. Right on the coast can be expensive (Scarborough is probably an exception but has some huge social issues because many people are patrolled from prison and put in a bedsit there). Whitby is a particular favourite of mine.

Malton is a market town and reasonably nice.

Can’t comment on individual schools that far from York though!

Scarborough college is an independent out that way. St Mary’s goes through to GCSEs and I know the head quite well - she is a lovely women and absolutely fab with the girls. Also independent... but those are the only ones I know that far from York, I’m afraid...


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Thank you.  That is SO HELPFUL. My husband really doesn't have a clue about any of this stuff, despite having grown up in it.  We were just looking at Malton tonight, funnily enough.  He remembers visiting there and liking it.  There are some new build 4 bedroom houses we can afford and he mentioned the market.  I also really like we can get to York, Driffield, or Scarborough all in the same amount of time. And he had a laugh because there's all this equestrian stuff and my older two are obsessed with horses [and one wants to be a vet and is obsessed with the reality show 'Yorkshire Vet'] and in fact we currently live in a ranch community called, wait for it, MILTON. LOLOL. The high school they are zoned for here has a full equestrian program and a veterinary program.

 I cosign Whitby! I love it there.  For similar reasons I like Scarborough.  But I think it's because I grew up in a resort town and parts of it feel like home, ya know? I'm sure after living back in that same resort town for the next several months will have nostalgic for it again.  Or maybe the opposite effect lol?

4 December 2005--Met in ATL, Moved in together
July 2006--First visit to the UK, met his Mum
Feb 2007--Eloped and told everyone we were engaged ;)
May 2007--Wedding, Part 1 in Pine Mountain, GA;
Sept 2007--Wedding, Part 2 in Scarborough, UK
Nov ‘08–1st Child
May ‘10–2nd Child
June 2013--Decided to move to the UK!
July 2013-Jan 2016–family tragedies. Delayed move
April ‘15–3rd Child
2019...planning again
January 2022–applying for visa!
Goal: Get Eldest in UK school by year 9!
Hopefully moving to Malvern June 2022


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  • Posts: 295

  • Y'all watch out! Here I come.
  • Liked: 8
  • Joined: Jul 2013
  • Location: Pine Mountain, GA
Re: Malvern or York for better schools? Need to start narrowing down.
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2020, 04:46:43 AM »
Sooooo. I think we've settled on Malvern.  Looking at houses and proximity to family and friends, Malvern is just a better choice. Smaller towns in Yorkshire are cheaper, but if I could get a house in Malvern with panoramic views, that would be pretty sweet.  And my husband's main sport is cycling and he claims the paths are good there.  And he has a friend he can ride with that still lives there.  And if my niece moves THERE to be near us and then has a baby, her mom won't be furious that she moved 3 hours away cause it will be less than an hour to Malvern.  There are lots of factors, lol. Lots of school choices there too.
4 December 2005--Met in ATL, Moved in together
July 2006--First visit to the UK, met his Mum
Feb 2007--Eloped and told everyone we were engaged ;)
May 2007--Wedding, Part 1 in Pine Mountain, GA;
Sept 2007--Wedding, Part 2 in Scarborough, UK
Nov ‘08–1st Child
May ‘10–2nd Child
June 2013--Decided to move to the UK!
July 2013-Jan 2016–family tragedies. Delayed move
April ‘15–3rd Child
2019...planning again
January 2022–applying for visa!
Goal: Get Eldest in UK school by year 9!
Hopefully moving to Malvern June 2022


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