We live in Balham and my children are at Newton Prep. We are v happy with the school, and the commute is v easy. Obviously it depends how far you live from the station, but the train journey itself is very easy and extremely civilised 95% of the time. The remaining 5% is down to train delays, but Southern has improved since all the problems. Over the past couple of years, I have only had to drive to school a handful of times due to the trains not running. The commute is actually much easier than when we lived in Clapham - we used to walk to Newton, but it was a 15-20 min walk on hugely busy roads, and the bus at rush hour was no quicker than walking/scooting. There are quite a few Newton families who live around Balham/Wandsworth Common. Good luck with your decision.