I read with some dismay the recent news stories regarding the shortfall of primary school places in London, and the numbers of pupils who do not get their first preference for places. My son will start school in September 2012, and I would love to hear first hand from parents who have applied this year. Questions that I have running around my head include:
Has anyone not got a place at all?
How many parents got their first choice of schools?
What criteria did parents use to make their selection eg, location/Ofsted reports etc.
Of the three primary schools within a mile of me, North Harringay seems to rate highest on their Ofsted report, but is the furthest away. South Harringay is closest, but scores much lower. I don't think Ofsted reports alone can tell the whole story - so what would parents recommend?
We were in exactly the same position as you this time last year G. It brings a whole new take on the education "debate" doesn't it. All you want is a good school close to you.
You can't predict how many siblings there are going to be can you, so there is always a risk. I hadn't spent a long time thinking about what would happen if we didnt get a place in any of the 3 local as I put it in "tomorrows problem" box.
My sister tells me it is worse at secondary, so something to look forward to.
Like I said good luck. But visit all three definately.
I don't think Ofsted reports alone can tell the whole story
True, but they do tend to give a fair indication of strengths and weaknesses, and of how a school has changed over, say, a three-five year period and whether a reasonable prognosis can be made over the period immediately ahead.
Antoinette, since you have drawn comparisons/contrasts between the most recent Ofsted reports for the two Ladder schools (NHS Primary and SHS Junior & Infant/Nursery) I can only say I do not recognise the contrasting picture you've drawn. May I ask, have you somehow confused North (Falkland) with South (Mattison & Pemberton) ?
With respect to my friends at NHS (which my niece attends) I think I get a very different picture from a five-minute perusal of each of the Ofsted reports: NHS (June 2010); and SHS (Oct 2007 & Dec 2008) - especially in light of SHS Junior's vast improvement from 2002.
Or am I missing something?
Can I just echo OAE's post here - the most recent Ofsted report for South Harringay Infant School (which is from last year) gives it an outstanding, so I don't think the information in the original post here is completely up to date.
I live on Ridge Road in Crouch End and visited: Weston Park, St Aidans, North Harringay, South Harringay, Rokesley, Coleridge and St Peters-in-Chains.
I ended up applying for: Weston Park, St Aidan's, South Harringay in that order. Didn't like the religious overtones of St Peters - too full on and deemed Rokesely, Coleridge and North Harringay too far away.
I got offered a school (Tiverton) over two miles away on the other side of Seven Sisters.
Don't rely on Ofsted reports, they are largely meaningless - go and visit the school, ask questions, speak to parents and get a feel for the place.
With regards to selection, you are placed solely on location unless your child has statemented needs so don't bother applying for a school that you're not in the catchment for.
I'm not in the catchment for any schools in my area, despite being 0.22 miles from Weston Park and St Aidans and 0.38 mile from South Harringay.
I'm appealing the decision and sitting on all the waiting lists until a place comes up for her - am told that waiting until October is about the norm but they don't do much up to the first half term so it's not really a problem.
For those worried about their primary places for this year, this is the body of an email I sent out to the parents of children at my daughter's nursery over the tracks in Crouch End this morning, so worried am I about not having a sensible place for my daughter.
If any parents on here are in a similar position, do let me know as we could probably accommodate a small group of "home schoolers" until our places come up. I shall be posting on OpinioN8 as well for the N8 lot. Lest anyone pick up on any anti-Tottenham vibe, this is not the case.
There are some fabulous schools within the area and I wouldn't have hesitated to send her to Chestnuts for example, but not a just scraping by primary in a difficult area.
Sorry people, it's me again.
I wondered how many of you have been offered a ridiculous school way out in the borough? Mel (Paloma's mum) and I have been offered places 2-3 miles away in Tottenham so obviously we won't be sending our girls there.
I am categorically not sticking Isabelle into Tiverton, a school over 2 miles away in a community that she neither understands nor knows whilst we sit out a waiting list for one of our chosen schools. My only option is then to home school. I wondered if others were in the same position and would like to collaborate on becoming teachers for a day/session during the first weeks of term?
My thought was that we could hire or find a space for the small group of children we know not to have places (could extend this if we know others in the same position) and devise a teaching plan for the first month or so and attempt to home school them between us until we get places we are happy with (should we not have them in September).
I'm reliably informed that places usually come up within 3 weeks but even if it took until Christmas, this shared effort would work out better and cheaper than forking out for a private school which I definitely can't afford.
I was thinking of block booking a small room in Hornsey Vale CC or another similar space. If we all chipped it, I don't think the cost would be exorbitant. I was thinking that if we shared the teaching responsibilities (say one day or half a day each for the week) it would not be so difficult on those who work outside the home.
Is this something you might consider or is it a crackers idea? I don't like the idea of teaching Isabelle at home alone as she'll be bored and lonely and more likely, won't listen to a word I say! At this stage it's about sociability and learning to read and write, we're not coaching them for Oxbridge!
Would be glad of any thoughts.
I live in a tiny one bedroomed flat with my husband, a four year old and a nine month old baby. We have one chefs wage coming in which in current climate or indeed any climate will not stretch to a home tutor. I haven't considered all the practicalities yet.
I was just thinking that if we were sitting on a waiting list up to Christmas and other mums were in the same boat we might band together to try and keep our children in the routine of leaving the home, doing a bit of socialising and learning to read and write at the same time.
I'm not advocating opening my own school, that would be well beyond my capabilities. We have a retired primary school teacher in our number who has offered to chart the curriculum and other graduates who were willing to chip in. I can rattle off my ABC's and sing a few songs - we just thought it might be a practical solution to what feels like a miserable and nerve-wracking problem.
I would be pretty pissed off to be honest if, in the spirit of community and common sense thinking, a group of mums who've decided to do something practical instead of piping on about their situation were prevented from doing so due to health and safety, or any other namby pamby stupid restrictions.
It's bound to be the case though isn't it? I mean you can't do anything these days without the whole motivation being crawled over by some authority or other and giving you a reason why you can't.
Seriously though, we're just trying to ensure a social environment for a small group of four year olds. I wouldn't have thought it beyond the bounds of possibility for a few mums to do this without the need to bring in a home tutor.
Socially to put kids togther in a room is one thing, but to make that their only form of education is a completely different story.