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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Hiya, Wondering if anyone else living near us is in our position... We found out earlier this week about school admissions and discovered to our dismay that we were (in the 6% of people) not offered any of our six choices which were all within the local vicinity. We live on Uplands Road. if there are more of us perhaps we could put pressure on the council to build
extra provision nearby for this year.

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Can I just say that these days the order you put schools in is unknown to the schools and does not affect their decision. The order of preference only matters if a child qualifies for more than one -say two -schools. In that case instead of getting two offers, they only get one offer, for their highest preference.

So people do not have to be tactical, other than not "wasting" preferences by applying to schools they have no hope of getting in to becasue too far away. If you rank the six closest schools to you in order of preference that ought to be a good application; what I gather has happened to Alex is that she did something like that but was too far from her closest school to get an offer, was even further from the next and so forth. That is how a "blackhole" happens.

(Unfortunately by offering her a place at Seven Sisters Haringey has discharged their legal duty to find a place for every child).  To get a better idea of her situation she needs to find out where she ranks on the waiting lists.

Depending on her ward, she should talk to her councillor, certainly, but also find out who the oppostion candidate is and talk to them in case they win in a few weeks time..

You could always sell up in Crouch End and move close to Seven Sisters school. You probably think that's not helpful but it's a suggestion.

Hi - do you know if Seven Sisters Primary still has availability for Sept? I didn't get any of my 6 choices either and was offered Stamford Hill but as it has no out of hours provision, it does not suit my working hours. Seven Sisters would be great for me though as it is on my way to work and has a breakfast club.

Hi Charlotte

I've sent a reply to your email and also just contacted Sharon NIcholson, Head Teacher at Seven Sisters.

All the best



Zena Brabazon

Chair of Governors, Seven Sisters Primary

Cllr, St. Ann's ward till May 22nd

Legally your child doesn't have to start school until the term after their 5th Birthday so even if you have a September baby you could wait until January to start and see if you move up the waiting list on any of your more local schools.

My daughter started reception in 2011 which was a bumper year and we had 37 siblings out of a possible 60 places, it was a very oversubscribed year and our catchment went down to 0.19 miles. We also had 1 extra child in each class due to appeals being won (I think these were both for Special Needs reasons), so waiting list places didn't come up until half way through year 1. But that is unusual, and I think quite often there is movement even before September.

I wouldn't rule out a school simply because of an Ofsted report - in my opinion the reports are becoming more and more political and driven by the Governments drive to turn them all into academies. So I would visit Seven Sisters if you can and judge for yourself, you'll get a much better picture than an Ofsted can give. Just in case you can't get a place closer to home. 

I agree the best way is to get on all the schools waiting lists, not just the top six you put down. It is a stressful time and I hope you manage to get a place a bit closer to home. 

Once you get beyond the first day of autumn term you move into a different situation; in central - ish London, which this counts as, you get movement of children through out the year - people move house, or jobs (or both) and there is a net outflow of children from central -ish London. So for example even a very oversubscribed primary at reception, will often have some vacancies by year 6. Its a bit like a game of musical chairs in reverse, it starts with not enough chairs for all the people,  but as time passes the people get fewer....

So even in an area of oversubscribed schools like Crouch End over time a few places come up, with only a few people looking for them...

I live on Ridge Road and know of a family at the end of Ridge Road and one on Denton in exactly the same position as you. Didn't get offers from any of their chosen schools and allocated Seven Sisters Primary instead. You probably know them already if you use Stationers' Park. I need a reception place next Sept and know I will be in exactly the same position as you. I have already been in touch with the council to ask them what they plan to do to meet the demand from our bit of the borough (haven't got an answer yet). It's utterly bonkers that St Aidan's catchment this year was 0.12 miles and Weston Park was 0.07.

I've heard that St Peter's on Elm Grove only filled 58 of the 60 places they had - you could check them out - open evening on 7 May 2014 - next week. They're rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted. And its walking distance from Uplands. Also, did you get turned down by St Mary's with the bulge class this year?

I'll be really interested to see how many of us with kids needing places get a plausible place by Sept (ie not involving a long commute). Can you update please us if you get sorted?

I did suggest to Councillor Reece (Lib Dem Stroud Green ward) that Weston Park could be expanded into the community centre or those tennis courts in the bottom bit of the park but she seemed to think there would be stiff opposition. She suggested we come up with proposals for the council. Build on top of the community centre? Build on top of the existing school? We need to persuade the school governors to expand though.

Once Stationers' Playgroup Spring Fair (10th May 2014) is out of the way, a group of us mums will probably gather in Stationers Park to brainstorm. This issue affects all of us not on top of a Crouch End school. Please bring ideas. And in the meantime, cross-examine the folk seeking our vote what their solution would be and their commitment to finding local solutions. Don't let 'em flim-flam you.

I wonder if Cllr Katherine Reece also gave you her views on the Coalition policy of not allowing local councils to build new schools?  If Cllr Rees did discuss this, what did she say?

In case you may not have seen it, here's a bulletin 3 September last year from the Local Government Association (a cross-party body) which predicted some of this shortfall in places. It's written in a non-partisan neutral style. But it gives the general picture across the country - which wasn't encouraging.

I'm disappointed that you seem to assume it's okay to build on part of a local park and appear surprised there would be "stiff opposition".

Several years ago there was a proposal from the Muswell Hill Colonial Administration to use part of our local park (Down Lane Park, Tottenham Hale) for a travellers' site. They seemed surprised at the stiff local opposition. Their next proposal for annexation of our park was to build the Sixth Form Centre on about one third of it.  Naturally we weren't too pleased about that either.

Given Tottenham's close historic links with the Clann Brus (Bruce) the suggestion has been made that we become a part of independent Scotland.

(Alan MacStanton -Tottenham Hale ward councillor)

I still need a place for Sept - didn't get any of the 6 choices I put down and was offered Stamford Hill Primary which I rejected as I cannot get my son there or pick him up and get to and from work on time. I have contacted the council and asked them to send me a list of school which still have available places so that I can try and find one which suits us.

Try Tiverton Primary School across the road from Stamford Hill. An amazing school, all my kids were very happy there, did very well and were invoIved in wonderful enrichment activities. I would urge you to make an appointment to speak to the head, Resham Mirza. They have breakfast and after school clubs too.

Thank you so much - that's so helpful of you!

The playground is awesome!



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