Coleridge Primary School, Crouch End(21 Posts)
My husband and I are in the process of trying to move to Crouch End and are very keen to move somewhere which will be in the catchment for Coleridge School. We've hopefully viewing a house tomorrow which is 0.2 miles from the school, but if we lived further away we would be able to afford a larger house. The question is whether to go to this house, because we really would love our child to go to this school, or whether we should choose based on house alone and not consider proximity to schools at this stage? We are expecting our first later this year, but would love to move now to avoid moving with a toddler. We will not be doing a school application until 2019 and obviously a school could change by then, although it seems unlikely that this particular one will. Any advice gratefully received!
Have you visited the school?
If you're going to make a major decision about the size and location of your long-term home based on a specific factor ie a specific school, I would suggest that you visit it first.
Good advice! The reason we haven't is that we are planning very early and our child isn't due to make an appearance until October! We will go and see the school and continue our house search at the same time. It's the right area for our work etc as well, so think we'll almost certainly go with it - it's such a competitive area for schools, unfortunately.
Catchment areas in Muswell Hill and Crouch End shrink every year and there are now large black spots. If you are moving for a school in several years time you'd better be pretty much on the doorstep.
Not in London, but due to sibling priority, the catchment area for our local primary - 60 intake - shrank to 180 METRES a couple of years ago. I would find out the furthest distance admitted for non-siblings for your chosen school over the last e.g. 5 years, and plot a pessimistic trend curve, then make certain that yiou are well within the distance you identify. I notice it was 0.32 miles for 2013, and would expect that to shrink year on year - i would also want to check whether that was a sibling or non-sibling.
0.2 miles may not sound like a lot, but if the school has sibling priority (especially as it looks from the Hariongay booklet that priority is given to any sibling, not just sibling in catchment, so a family who gets one child into the school then moves away will be higher up the priority order than you if the rules remain the same) you may find that the number of non-sibling places is very small indeed so the distance admitted for non-siblings can be TINY.
These things change with time, and it is not always true that admission radii in "Muswell Hill and Crouch End shrink every year". They fluctuate. Moreover while some years ago there were problems with "blackspots" in Muswell Hill and Crouch End, which I imagine is what you were remembering, for the last while this has not been a problem, partly due to a significant increase in place supply, so last year, for example, Rokesly had a radius just over 1.4 miles. This was both a significant increase on the previous year and basically covered the whole of Crouch End, and anywhere in N19 close to Hornsey Lane.
You are right that siblings can matter a lot, and in both Harringey and Islington, and Camden for that matter there are no "catchments" just a radius around the school determined by the distance away from the school the last pupil "on distance" was admitted on.
However Coleridge is unusually large - a four form entry school - so they take in 120 into reception each year. The exact figures last year is there were
69 were admitted on distance
the furthest away a child was admitted, on distance (on the first round of offers) was 0.3251 miles.
We will know later this week what the figures are for entry 2014 as offer day is tomorrow.
The key difficulty in answering your question is that you will, by your own account, not be applying for five years. All that I can write with certainty is that if you are 0.2 miles from Coleridge then the chance of not getting in to Coleridge in five years time will be lower than if you were further away. Common sense really. I can also write that Coleridge catchment has never, since it expanded, been as small as 0.2 miles.
As I wrote above catchment areas fluctuate. Ashmount school's radius , (its a two form entry school) , halved last year. This may be a one off due to the school moving into a new building. Also quite a lot of siblings. Interesting to see what happens this year.
However I would stick my neck out and say that for Coleridge to halve its radius would need a LOT of siblings...
I saw that it was an unusually large school.
My nearest primary usually had a furthest distance admitted of 0.4 miles or so - until the year it went down to 180 metres. And it usually ran at less than a third siblings - until it jumped to 3/4...
Well the worst case I knew of was Weston Park in Haringey (Crouch End) which was then a one form entry school, so taking in 30. One year, some years ago, it had 29 siblings....
However the number of siblings at Coleridge has been stable for a number of years, BUT things can change, hence my advice to OP......
nlondondad I know you are an expert in this are so won't contradict you - but a friend of mine in Crouch End (near the Hornsey Medical Centre) was looking for a reception place last year and was outside of the radii for all her local schools, was offered to be bussed to Wood Green.
I dont claim to be an expert...
What has happened is that over the last few years I have become interested in the pattern of both school place and demand in one rather restricted area of N. London. Also last year I was able to make a number of posts some people found helpful about the admissions process on the Islington side of Hornsey Lane (others helped out with information from the Harringey side.
Hornsey Health centre is a bit to the north of the area I know best, so I am reluctant to be dogmatic but looking at the map it was within range of Rokesly Infants which last year had an admissions radius of 1.4 miles.
So if your friend was "looking for a reception place" but was offered bussing to Wood Green:
Either she was a late applicant
She had a conversation with admissions before she applied which she misunderstood; I have found that when an (anxious) parent asks admissions which schools there child can get in to admissions WILL NOT be willing to say anything about local schools with admission radii in case the radii change a lot on offer day. Or to put it another way, if you ask admissions before offer day which school my child will be able to get in to, they will be unwilling to give a definite answer EXCEPT if there is a school which normally has vacant places - does not fill - they may mention that as a good bet, but of course it can be a long way a way.
When parents are told "we cannot guarantee a place" they often interpret this as "we do not have a place for you"...
She had not applied to Rokesly Infant school with one of her preferences. Haringey say in their brochure that on offer day they offer you
"the highest preference school you listed that your child qualified for a place"
if you do not get an offer for any of the prefences you expressed you will be offered
"the nearest school (in Haringey ) with an available place".
Apart from the moral of the story being, in that case, use your six preferences, advice too late for anyone reading this now applying this year (!) the other thing is to put yourself on the waiting lists of all the schools within reach, if you dont get an offer, and she would have had a good chance of getting Rokesly.....
Do you know where her child went in the end?
That's interesting and I don't know the details but she may have been put off by an initial conversation as she decided to take up a private place in the end.
if you dont mind me saying so, slowcomputer that does put a different complexion on it. If your friend has the means to pay for a private school and so had a choice between using a state school or going private - which statistically is a really minority thing - then in my experience there is something of that tends to be true of people in that position. They are VERY choosy about which state school they would accept, and if they do not get it go private. So if she had applied for, say, only one school (The Tatler recommended Coleridge, possibly ?) and did not get it, which she would not have living where she was, well then "She did not get an offer of a place" but this is NOT the same as there not being a place for her child...
(The sam argument applies if she did not bother to apply for a state school having worked out that she was too far from a state school she was interested in.)
Thank you everyone, for your helpful comments. We are narrowing our house search only to areas which are very close to good schools. Anything can change in 5 years, but you can't move a house!
That's a fair comment, but she wasn't even considering private until she spoke to the LA a year or so before application time and was told she wouldn't get a place anywhere locally. Someone on here is a thread from someone who lives in Muswell Hill and has been offered a place in Tottenham, so it clearly does happen.
Private will be a significant financial stretch and she isn't the type to be influenced by the Tatler - if I may say so, not everyone who chooses private education is easily able to afford it, nor the upper class stereotype that you're suggesting (I speak as someone who is about to extend their mortgage to afford school fees and who drives an old car, doesn't holiday abroad or have sky/gym membership/smoke/drink/go out in the evenings/ever buy new clothes etc etc etc).
I wonder if there is a deliberate unwritten policy by the local authority to be negative on the phone to try and push people towards private education and take the stress off state places?
You have written three paras each of which deserve a proper response, so here goes with the first.
Your friend's case was last year, and last year, if she had applied for Rokesly, if she was living near Hornsey medical centre she would have got in. The person in Muswell Hill THIS year has been offered a place in Tottenham because she got none of her expressed preferences on the first round, and it is Haringey's policy to get you an offer of some kind by allocating a place at the nearest school with a vacant place after the offers have been done. However there is a lot of churn in Muswell Hill so the school in Tottenham is very likey NOT to be the last word.
In Islington the policy appears to be if you do not get an offer for any of your preferences to inform you, rather tersely that you dont have a first round place, which really spooks people in a different way.
Admissions offices are paranoid about saying anything on the phone that leads anyone to think they are certain of a place, because they never know who is going to be:
a. offered on offer day
b. offered later off the waiting list which actually goes on until the first week of autumn term.
As to whether there is a POLICY of being off putting? Well can I just say that some Borough personnel appear to have a natural talent in that direction?
Well can I just say that some Borough personnel appear to have a natural talent in that direction?
I work in the NHS and similar could be said about some hospital admin staff.........
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