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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Get to that Fete Today - Support your local school and add 30% to the value of your house........

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Yes, (though not just because I'm a toady) I had intended to go along there with my one-year old Falkland Rd niece who lives a short stone's throw from the school, though she hasn't yet begun to use that precise form of distance measurement. She opted instead to spend toady helping the family on their Loughton allotment half-way to Stansted. (Who said you couldn't find an allotment on Harringay Borders?) My own local, South Harringay, had its fete last weekend when I was otherwise engaged.

Re the wider link to the 'Standard' article reproduced on a Mortages website (?), this 'IMHO' is where market obscenity boosted by parental hubris meshes with school league tables to play hell with school catchment areas.

I have nothing but fondest memories of my three months' supply teaching at Creighton School in the summer of 1978 when Molly Hattersley (Roy's missus) was Head. There was a view of society, in that final pre-thatcherite-pre-majorite-pre-blairite year, shared by most parents, pupils and teachers that had nothing in common with today's ethos that values paying a £500K+ premium for a house on Twyford or Creighton Avenues, just because Creighton School has been rebranded as Fortismere.

That very spirit of rebranding could no longer tolerate the no-nonsense 'Creighton' nor brook the obvious choices at hand (Twyford or Tetherdown: not serious-sounding enough?). It had to reach right across Fortis Green for little Fortismere Avenue in search of a name. Ah, something soft and come-hitherish about that one, somewhat redolent of olde world dialects and Lake District.

Creighton was a very good comprehensive and community school which knew what it was about, once it got over its earlier uneasy merging of grammar and secondary modern. Fortismere is obviously a leader, academically and in league table terms, and a magnet for every parent who thinks that Alistair Campbell's "bog standard" epithet is the middle name for every other local comprehensive or community secondary school.

Let's hope that Haringey Heartlands' new community school, whatever its eventual name, will mean what it now says on the tin: community. I hope that Fortismere, too, retains something of its old community engagement spirit - though what 'community engagement' may mean on millionaires' row is beyond my ken (no reference to boris there).

For my neighbours on Mountview Rd. or even the Ladder who are idiotically stretching themselves for the extra half-million or million to get themselves and their sprogs to the leafy playgrounds of Twyford Avenue, catch yourselves on. Take a chance. Stay put. What have the kids ever done for you? Send them to HSSG, Highgate Wood, even the Gregg Academy or St Aloysius'/Mt Carmel/St Thomas More (if you're a wee bit religious), or 'the Heartlands' when it's up and running.

Look after No.1. Take your extra (half)million, while time allows, and book yourself a nice place in a good quality Retirement Home so you're not spending 24-hour stretches in your own No.2 while your expensively educated sprogs cannot find time for even the occasional dutiful visit.

There, I thought I'd just cheer you up with a bit of perspective on this sunny, child-calling, fete-filled afternoon. For all of which my good Fortismere-teaching neighbour and Chairman, Paul, will doubtless banish me for ever from the WRN4RA on Monday evening if not before.

Damn fine fete btw. Thank you to all that came along. Even the boss Mr Flouch popped by for a second or two. Love these community events. It's what makes the world a finer more liveable place to be. :)
Absolutely Anna. The Ladder Summer Party is only 2 weeks away. A chance for all who talk about 'community' on this site to enjoy an actual community event! Amen. :)
Wot Matt, could that mean me? Not paranoid, but I see I've used the word 'community' half a dozen times in the space of two paragraphs above! Amen indeed.:)
No the 'Wot' Eddie simply meant I got lost on the meaning behind your essay comment above!
Me too. Effect of unusual summer weather indoors. Should have been at your fete.
Yes, you should have Eddie. Weather was fantastic!
No 'wot' from me, Eddie, but a ringing endorsement of your opinions re the obscene way that house prices, school catchment areas and pushy parents are ruining the school system in this country. Parental input is more important to a child's development than any other factor. Just imagine if they kept their half a million extra and spent it on cakes/ the coconut shy/raffle tickets at school events and expended all that energy on working to support their local school. South Harringay's International evening is one of the finest culinary experiences in Harringay (Mr E came home early from work for it) and is an example of the wonderful out of hours work that parents and staff contribute to the children's experience of school.
PSA/PTAs are the powerhouse behind any successful school; they raise money for extras and they improve the environment (e.g. the gardens at the two Harringays) .
Don't just go to the school fete, join the PSA and not because you think you'll be improving your house prices but because a school with strong parental support will do well and give your child a good start in life no matter what its postcode might be.
(can't you tell I'm a teacher too!)
Thanks Liz. Afraid I do tend to go on a bit, given the right stimulus. The 'toady' thing sprang from the wonderful typo in Hugh's original command: 'GET TO THAT FETE TOADY ... etc.
Amen to that Liz, and Eddie.



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