Hastings - shall we move there?

(97 Posts)
migratingsouth Wed 04-Jan-12 23:44:06

DP has been offered a job in Hastings (we live in London and want to move out).

Does anyone know anything about the place?

We've visited and I loved the Old Town, the coffee shops in the centre of town and being by the sea. I'd love us to be near to DP's work as they work strange / unsocial hours in his industry, and it would be really nice if he could easily pop home during the day. Also I'm very keen on the fact we could actually afford a house there.

However I'm aware that Hastings / St Leonards has a bad reputation for having social problems (as has the bit of London we're moving from, mind you!)

We two pre-school DCs.

If it was just for me, I could happily live in a place labelled "socially deprived" - I have done all my life. However is this fair on our DCs? We're leaving London precisely because we feel it's not fair to bring the DCs up in our bit of it (and can't afford the "nice" bits). Would a move to Hastings be out of the frying pan, into the fire?

Can anyone tell me, what are Hastings / St Leonards like really?

TeamEdward Sat 07-Jan-12 00:25:16

It's just a castle. grin I used chocolate finger to make a gate, ice cream cornets as turrets, and stuck indoor fireworks on the top!

TeamEdward Sat 07-Jan-12 00:28:03

The trick with a castle cake is to make square cakes, and then stick shop=bought swiss rolls on the corners as towers. Ice the whole lot (with easy buttercream or even easier Betty Crocker) and stick the cornets on top.

Aerobreaking Sat 07-Jan-12 00:31:01

Can't beleive there are so many fellow Hastings-ers around here!

I have grown up in Hastings and in nearby villages and would thoroughly recommend it. Yes, it does has have some social deprivation problems but if you are currently in an area of London with problems as well (as I am now) then it is no worse in Hastings. Plus you don't have the same gang issues, and get to be by the seaside!

I agree that the biggest issue is schools. Like others - I would avoid Hollington like the plague - I know numerous teachers in the local primaries in the Hastings and Rother area, so am fairly up-to-date with the schools situation. Churchwood is another that I would try to avoid, it may have a decent ofsted but I certainly wouldn't send a child there. I would probably not pay too much attention to the ofsteds tbh, I would much rather focus on the feel of the schools when you look round. I know not everyone agrees, but I tend to think that for primary school, it is the home life that is far more important to the child - I went to a deprived school in the area and did not suffer in the slightest. The school managed to sort of stretch me and my parents did the rest; but I learnt a lot of other lessons there, I may well get flamed for this but I don't necessarily think that going to a school in a middle class enclave is always the best thing for a child. However, secondary schools are the main issue in the area.

It's a shame you don't drive as agree with others that the village schools are generally a lot nicer, have you tried looking at Battle? It has a fairly decent (but large) primary school but you get the massive advantage of Claverham for secondary. It is by far (imo) the best non-religious secondary in the area, one of the best in E.Sussex I would say. Prices are higher than Hastings though, especially as it is on the the train line.

As someone above said, three local schools (Filsham Valley, the Grove and Hillcrest) have now merged to become two academies instead, this has only just started, so results are not yet available. I think it will probably improve things, but they are improving what is currently a fairly dire situation so it still may not be great. However, if you have young children then it may be that in a few years time things will be much better. Certainly at the moment there would be no way I would send a child to any of those three schools - would home educate instead (as my parents had planned to do if my school had not worked out!) The final thing is the potential to use the Kent grammar system. Some of the grammar schools have a number of out of catchment places, or some operate a super-grammar system with no catchment - I am unsure of the current admissions criteria having sat the 11+ ten years ago. It is a very long day if you send your child to a school in Tunbridge Wells or Tonbridge (I got the train at 07:15 and returned at 17:00 if I had no clubs) but I got a fantastic education that I could never have got otherwise - as we could not have afforded to live in West Kent. Lots of children from the Hastings area attend these grammar schools for 6th form, as the Hastings schools don't have sixth forms, there are only sixth form colleges, which are another good for some and not for others, depending on maturity etc.

Sorry for the mammoth post, if you have any more questions about specific primaries I will try to answer them for you, but I encourage you to move to Hastings! I love it, it will always be my 'home' even though I no longer live there. Yes it has its problems but it also has a beautiful old town, the West Hill is fabulous, you can go to the beach and swim in the sea, fly kites up on the cliffs, it has the railway on the cliff, three crazy golfs, as well as beautiful rural countryside nearby. What's not to like?!

TuftyFinch Sat 07-Jan-12 00:38:46

TeamEdward thank you, smile I am not a natural baker but I'm going to try and make one. DS would be so happy if it worked. He's always asking me to make cakes. I do try but a fair few end up in the bin grin

TeamEdward Sat 07-Jan-12 00:39:14

I'm going to disagree with you on the secondary schools.
Claverham is seen as the school to get into (for non-Catholics anyway) but I hear lots of shocking pastoral issues and it has on of the highest rates of teen pregnancy. It seems to value results over the child.
Similar issues in Hastings with Parker & Helenswood. Often children with issues (behavioural or educational) are suggested/told they might like it better at Hillcrest/Filsham/The Grove and basically rejected.
Hillcrest has had the best value-added scores of all the Hastings secondaries from several years. Now it is the Hastings Academy, and is having around £4m spent on a complete new school and resources.

TeamEdward Sat 07-Jan-12 00:40:24

Tufty - if you slather on enough icing, and decorate with lots of sweets, no one cares what the actual cake is like!

migratingsouth Sat 07-Jan-12 00:59:52

Aerobreaking thanks for the post, I really appreciate it smile

I'd be very keen to know if you can recommend any of the community primaries in Hastings / St Leonards?

migratingsouth Sat 07-Jan-12 01:02:47

Interesting difference of opinion about secondaries smile Good to get different views!
We've got ages to go till then (8 years!) so I'll be keeping my eyes on them (assuming we do go for it!). But there's a good possibility we'll move again (out of town) before secondary anyway.

Carlitawantsababy Sat 07-Jan-12 01:05:51

Was excited to see this thread, DH and I have just bought a (3 bed house on the west hill for £133,000) house in Hastings and will be moving from north London in about 3 weeks with any luck! grin we cannot wait, we absolutely love it there (my mum lives there so we visit often and know it quite well) and think it'll be a great place to bring up children (DS1 due in 11 weeks) we don't know anyone though so if any of you are willing to adopt us let me know! smile

migratingsouth Sat 07-Jan-12 09:10:56

Well we've made a decision (sort of!)

DP is going to take the job, so we're definitely going to move south. However not 100% sure whether Hastings / St Leonards or possibly Eastbourne (HSL definitely winning at the moment).

Hoping to start having a look at schools in a couple of weeks.

Thanks everyone for your posts and opinions, I appreciate all the comments both good and bad - useful to know areas to avoid, and to have our eyes open about the not so nice points. However I'm happy as we are most likely going to move before the DC are at secondary, as long as we can find a good primary then it'll be a positive move for our DCs - their quality of life will be great with a nice house to grow up in, and life by the sea of course!

Still up for advice! Got a way to go yet I think (got to put the London flat on the market now!)

migratingsouth Sat 07-Jan-12 09:14:29

Hi Carlita, lovely to "meet" you.

I'd definitely be up for meeting up once we're there, shall I PM you?

It's all very exciting smile

Can I ask a cheeky question? grin (As your budget is very similar to ours). Would you mind telling me - what was the asking price on the house you bought?

CuppaTeaJanice Sat 07-Jan-12 09:44:35

Here is another house, about 2 minutes walk from Silverdale school, and 5 mins walk from the local shops and Asda.

Team Edward your cakes look delicious, although my appetite was slightly deminished by the picture of the chicken poxy child above them!! grin

Maybe we should all organise a Hastings meet-up, as there are so many of us on here!!

Carlitawantsababy Sat 07-Jan-12 10:13:48

Yes please migrating and janice to meeting up!
Not cheeky at all migrating, the similarity in budget was the reason I included what we had bought! It was on at £140,000 so no great discount but this may vary from area to area, the west hill is very popular (house was only on the market for 2 weeks) shame our reasons for the small budget aren't the same as yours grin

migratingsouth Sat 07-Jan-12 12:36:59

Wow two weeks is fast! If that's typical it doesn't look like any of these places will still be around by the time we're ready to buy!

Still it's really useful to get to know the areas and what places go for and I -love nosing at houses anyway grin

migratingsouth Sat 07-Jan-12 12:37:25

I'm up for a Hasting meetup I think that's a great idea!

TeamEdward Sat 07-Jan-12 13:39:37

There are a lot of houses in your price range on the market in Hastings right now, and the market isn't moving very fast (West Hill being the exception!)

Ingles2 Sat 07-Jan-12 19:18:29

Great to see you getting lots of support south smile
I hope everything goes well for you

migratingsouth Sun 08-Jan-12 16:41:34

Thanks Ingles2 smile

It's been very helpful getting all these views from people, I really do appreciate it. Mumsnet is great grin

We're going to look at schools, hopefully in a couple of weeks, I'll update when we do.

migratingsouth Sun 08-Jan-12 16:42:56

And I almost forgot to say, the Pirate Golf looks great! grin

totemgirl Sun 08-Jan-12 23:04:30

I am also hoping to move to Hastings/St Leonards this year and have found this thread very helpful. Many thanks

migratingsouth Mon 09-Jan-12 14:32:20

Let us know how your move goes smile

MrsJKat Mon 11-Feb-13 12:42:42

Hi, I know this thread is a year old, did any of you move to Hastings? If so how did it go and do you still reccommend it? We are thinking of moving from London to Hastings very soon too

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