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    • Sphynx
    • By Sphynx 16th May 17, 8:19 PM
    • 824Posts
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    Sphynx
    Relocating to Inverness area
    • #1
    • 16th May 17, 8:19 PM
    Relocating to Inverness area 16th May 17 at 8:19 PM
    Hello, just wondered if anyone could advise on schools (primary & secondary) in the area? I like Strathpeffer but the report on Dingwall Academy is 10 years old. Looking at a restoration project (which we have never done before). Nothing like a mid life crisis I am finding!! Any help sincerely appreciated.
Page 1
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 16th May 17, 9:25 PM
    • 144 Posts
    • 194 Thanks
    ProDave
    • #2
    • 16th May 17, 9:25 PM
    • #2
    • 16th May 17, 9:25 PM
    Hi Sphynx

    I am about 12 miles from Dingwall, 15 from Strathpeffer.

    Dingwall acadamy was completely rebuild about 5 years ago. Still doesn't mean it's a good or a bad school though, or even that the building was built properly (if Aberdeen schools are anything to compare with)

    My daughter is still in primary but she will go up to Alness acadamy soon.

    Where are you moving from? we moved up from Oxfordshire in 2003. We build a house then, and now are building our second self build. we did look at the time at a building plot in Strathpeffer but it had too many complications (steep sloping site mainly)
    • Sphynx
    • By Sphynx 16th May 17, 10:41 PM
    • 824 Posts
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    Sphynx
    • #3
    • 16th May 17, 10:41 PM
    • #3
    • 16th May 17, 10:41 PM
    Hi ProDave, good to hear someone has successfully made such a big move! We are coming from the West Midlands. I would consider self build, but I don't think we could afford both the land and then to build the size of house we would like.

    I am a wee bit worried about the school situation though. Part of the reason we are relocating is to provide better schooling for the children, but I havent a clue about the schools. School near us has been rebuilt and just gone into special measures...
    • warehouse
    • By warehouse 16th May 17, 10:46 PM
    • 2,904 Posts
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    warehouse
    • #4
    • 16th May 17, 10:46 PM
    • #4
    • 16th May 17, 10:46 PM
    Part of the reason we are relocating is to provide better schooling for the children, but I havent a clue about the schools.
    Originally posted by Sphynx
    Then why are you moving there? Sorry OP but this doesn't make sense.
    Pants
    • Sphynx
    • By Sphynx 16th May 17, 11:26 PM
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    Sphynx
    • #5
    • 16th May 17, 11:26 PM
    • #5
    • 16th May 17, 11:26 PM
    Yes I know it does sound ridiculous. What I do know is that the schools here are very poor and that we would like smaller class sizes, more dedicated teacher class time and the generally higher education offered in the Scottish education system. I also know each school will have strengths and weaknesses, and it's these specifics about individual schools I am struggling with. It's been a long day so apologies for not being coherent!
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 17th May 17, 9:28 AM
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    Pixie5740
    • #6
    • 17th May 17, 9:28 AM
    • #6
    • 17th May 17, 9:28 AM
    If it's good schooling in Scotland that you're looking for then based purely on league tables you won't find it in the Highlands. West Coast schools dominate the league tables particularly schools in East Renfrewshire although I'm sure glasgowdan will tell you the schools in East Dumbartonshire are best.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14376621.West_coast_schools_dominate_The_Herald_s_ exam_league_tables/

    Pupils attending Highland schools are less likely to obtain 5+ SQA accredited awards at SCQF L6 or better than pupils attending schools in East Renfrewshire.

    https://www.schoolguide.co.uk/schools/dingwall-academy-dingwall

    League tables don't tell the whole story though. From personal experience attending one of the top schools in East Renfrewshire most of my friends had tutors for at least one subject and some had tutors for all five subjects they took as Highers. That will skew the figures and one of the things I didn't like about my school was the lack of extracurricular activities on offer although that has probably changed now.

    However, one of the benefits of attending a school where fewer pupils are staying on in 5th and 6th year will be smaller class sizes. Other than class size what else is important to you in choosing a school?
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 17th May 17, 9:37 AM
    • 144 Posts
    • 194 Thanks
    ProDave
    • #7
    • 17th May 17, 9:37 AM
    • #7
    • 17th May 17, 9:37 AM
    We moved up here as I said in 2003. Our motivation was that Oxfordsire where we lived was just getting more and more crowded and the roads more and more congested and I did not see it ever getting any better, and I had had enough of a slow grind to work and back each day (so much so that for the last 3 years or so I commuted by motorbike as the only way I could tollerate the traffic)

    We had holidayed in the Highlands for 20 years. However when we decided to move we chose the Inverness area rather than the west coast, as the chance of finding employment was better. Our target was anywhere within half an hour of Inverness (but not in the city, I am a countryside person) and we ended up where we are because that was the best building plot on the market at the time.

    Life is SO much better up here. the population density is so much more sensible. No traffic jams (except perhaps the Kessock bridge in the morning rush hour) and a generally better pace of life. So many more places to go and see and visit, nice to be 3 miles from the coast (I now have a sailing boat) mountains to climb etc.

    You never hear of particularly "bad" schools up here. I am sure there are differences, but none are especially bad as far as I know.

    When we moved, plenty of people told me I was incredably stupid, or incredably brave. Well I was certainly not stupid. They also kept telling me it was a 1 way ticket and I would never afford to go back. That might be true, but I would not want to.

    By moving I got a lot more house for my money, the sort of house I could only ever dream of down south, and ended up mortgage free as well. What's not to like?

    Building plots can be had from about £50K upwards, a lot more closer to Inverness. If you allow £1500 per square metre to build, you can see that it's actually hard in the present market to buy a plot and build a house cheaper than you can go and buy a ready built one for. The reason we are self building again is this time we are building a really energy efficient house that you would not get off the peg. Doing much of the work myself I am aiming for £1000 per square metre.
    • Sphynx
    • By Sphynx 17th May 17, 9:40 AM
    • 824 Posts
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    Sphynx
    • #8
    • 17th May 17, 9:40 AM
    • #8
    • 17th May 17, 9:40 AM
    Thanks for your reply Pixie5740. One of my daughters has learning difficulties whilst the other is very academic. It makes choosing schools more difficult assuming I send them to the same school. Pastoral care and a genuine interest in the child would probably be the best bet as I could also find a tutor for the eldest.
    I have looked at the league tables but work commitments are going to push us up into the highlands. It looks beautiful mind.
    It might be I will have to take a trip to visit schools and see from that.
    • Sphynx
    • By Sphynx 17th May 17, 9:46 AM
    • 824 Posts
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    Sphynx
    • #9
    • 17th May 17, 9:46 AM
    • #9
    • 17th May 17, 9:46 AM
    ProDave it is very reassuring to hear your story. It echoes many of the feelings I have about our current environment. I will have another close look at self build. We are planning to go to the home building and renovation show to get some ideas. Sadly though my DIY skills are very limited. Hope your new build gives you everything you hope.
    • gld73
    • By gld73 17th May 17, 9:23 PM
    • 187 Posts
    • 116 Thanks
    gld73
    I don't have first hand experience of the schools, but I can say it's a great place to live in general. Inverness has everything you need in a city but without being too big, and it's easy to get to from Dingwall and Strathpeffer. Stunning scenery all around. Transport links are improving too, BA and KLM flights go from Inverness so that hooks you up to the rest of the world, and the A9 is being dualled (admittedly it'll be years before that's complete!!). Doesn't rain as much here as it does on the west coast either!

    Regarding schools, don't know if this site is of any use:

    https://www.schoolguide.co.uk/best-schools-in/Inverness
    • Sphynx
    • By Sphynx 17th May 17, 10:16 PM
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    • 2,564 Thanks
    Sphynx
    Thanks gld73. So good to hear positive things from people in the area. I am cautiously optimistic about it. I think the Fortrose secondary comes out best league table wise, but I must admit to really liking Strathpeffer...
    Will spend some time there this summer and see what's what.
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 18th May 17, 10:35 AM
    • 144 Posts
    • 194 Thanks
    ProDave
    Fortrose and the Black Isle in general is a very nice area. Slightly worse if you travel to Inverness for work as you have to put up with the morning queue on the Kessock bridge (from Strathpeffer you can go round via Beauly to avoid that). They are planning an improvement to the Longman roundabout (a flyover instead) that should ease that but will likely be a few years away.

    Tip to "outsiders" If you go to Avoch, it's pronounced "Och"

    Regarding flights, a few years ago we went to Australia. I was most surprised to find we were able to fly from Inverness. Fly be to Manchester, then Etihad to Brisbane via Abhu Dabi all booked and linked as one flight. Luggage checked in at Inverness, arrived at Brisbane, same on return.
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