hello Tubbies Mommy,
Living in Lugano is great! The schools are also great, and I would not limit myself to only worrying about finding English speaking schools. There really is only one, and it is full of rich foreign children who do not tend to integrate well into the local society.
My children are all native English speakers, and they have been going to school in all-Italian classes, and are doing just fine. Both kids have an Italian tutor come by occasionally, which is paid for by the schools. They don't speak Italian yet, but are getting pretty close after 6 months. I tested my 6 year old, and he already knows 40 out of the 50 most essential Italian verbs! This was all picked up by himself in situational settings only - I unfortunately don't have the time to teach him my incorrect and error-filled Italian at home.
As far as renting is concerned - I'm sure you have heard of homegate.ch
. That is where you will find most available housing. There are far more apartments available than houses. A local copy of Cerca E Trova wouldn't hurt either. It, too is available online as well: cercaetrova.ch.
I know of one or two British families in the area as well, so you won't be too alone.
Good luck! It is very stressful to move to another country, but once you get past the first month, it starts to feel normal, and you can begin to appreciate living in a wonderful place (what I like to call "the best parts of Italy").