Sorry Billio, I was off-line for a day. No it's not a middle-class squeemishness at high EFL. It's interesting that one of the most successful schools in Hackney is Parkwood, which has a massive percentage of EFL students, and yet they do very well, because the head is very aspirational for all her students and the parents fully support that.
The new HT at Newington Green may make a lot of improvements by the time your DC is able to go to school and completely turn things around. I know two friends who sent their kids there, against local advice. They did this with good intentions, wanting to send their kids local and support the school... blah, blah. However, one left after one year, and another gave it 18 months before transferring to another school.
It's not the EFL that's the problem, but the very high amount of social problems at that school. While Hackney is now terribly middle-class, there are pockets (just like in neighbouring Islington) where drug culture, and the attendant violence and social deprivation are present.
They're not very clear on exactly why to avoid, which is why I'm posting to ask for direct experiences! Judging from the Ofsted report, it could be something to do with high % of EFL. Could just be a middle class wariness thing, or could be based on deeper issues. That's what I'm trying to figure out...DC is still in womb, so this is long-term planning!
Avoid. How old are your DC's? Are you aiming for reception, or other years? It would make a difference as to chances, i.e. you might get in to an otherwise oversubscribed school in Y3, but not stand a chance in reception.
We're thinking of moving to Newington Green. The only thing that's holding us back is whether the schools are half-decent. In particular, does anyone have direct experience of Newington Green? (We'd be out of the catchment area for most others by the look of it.) Some locals have said avoid. The Ofsted report says there's a new headteacher making improvements. Sadly, we are old-school lefties so wouldn't want to go private! Any info much appreciated...