Been offered brand new free school or last choice

(175 Posts)
Lazymama2 Wed 16-Apr-14 16:35:03

We're not sure what to do as have been offered a place at a brand new school which is with walking distance but has not been 'fitted out' yet (buildings are there). There is very little concrete info on term dates, start and finish times, curriculum and obviously no past performance on which to base a decision. Also no older kids to look up to. Other school is our last choice and has improved from satisfactory to good. DH does not want Dd to go to this school and would prefer private. I, on the other hand, quite like idea of a brand new school.

Thoughts/ideas anyone?

PS please dont turn this into a debate of state vs. private as I believe every parent does what is best for thier child/family circumstances and im not for/against one or the other.

highgatedad Sat 20-Sep-14 08:29:09

Ditto. Like Jakecate, I also have a child at Whitehall Park School and would be happy to talk to any prospective parents about the wonderful experience that my child is having.

jakecat Fri 19-Sep-14 20:21:47

I will happily speak to any prospective parents reading this thread who want to contact me about Whitehall Park, the class sizes, the enthusiasm and impressiveness of the teaching staff and head teacher, the positive comments that have been made to me and to my daughter my members of the local community in recent weeks, the future viability and building plans of the school and, most importantly, how happy my daughter is and how much she is enjoying it

Juniorjones Fri 19-Sep-14 19:48:45


This is a quote by you in an earlier thread about Whitehall Park.

"both my children went to Ashmount School. The youngest now 18,"

I made no comment about your children other than they were not of reception age, which is something that you had already stated. Quite how that constitutes me 'bringing your children into this' or 'sinking to a new low' I'm not sure.

AuntieStella Fri 19-Sep-14 18:53:04

I think it's a reasonable deduction that you do not have children at Whitehall Park school. After all, if you had, you'd know the numbers.

All schools do their numbers in October. In most parts of London there is significant churn at the start of a new academic year, and it takes a few weeks into term for the numbers to settle. Much better for all schools to wait and go for the more settled figures. Especially as the pan-London predictions for shortages of school places in the years up to 2018 run to thousands. Undersubscribed schools will be like gold dust

whitehallparkdad Fri 19-Sep-14 18:39:37

Apologies nlondondad

I was simply assuming that your interest was based on a personal requirement for schooling for your children which I would have anticipated would be young enough to attend primary school reception class. I cannot think of any other reason why you would be so interested in this primary school.

nlondondad Fri 19-Sep-14 18:24:37

Your continued refusal to answer a simple question regarding numbers of children at Whitehall Park School conveys an obvious message to any parent seeking to use Mumsnet to find out about Whitehall Park School. And to find out how well it is doing. And what the risk of it failing to attract enough children to its portocabins to continue might be.

Your descent, not for the first time, into personal comments also speaks volumes.

Bringing my children into it, is however a new low. You do not know whether I have school age children or not.

Juniorjones Fri 19-Sep-14 16:29:46

Actually nlondondad another parent told me about David Barry's FOI request so nothing to do with the school.
In terms of answering your question about number of children, as stated earlier you only wish bad things for the school and as you don't have reception age children so have no personal need of this information, why would we give it to you?

whitehallparkdad Fri 19-Sep-14 16:10:24

Hi nlondondad
seems like you can wait until October and all will be revealed.

You don't seem to have answered my question? How odd. Do you want to repeat it?smile

nlondondad Fri 19-Sep-14 16:07:41

It is a simple question and I think it now speaks volumes that you decline to answer. Indeed FOI is a possible route: Interesting that you would appear to be in good enough touch with the school to know what FOI requests they are getting, and yet unwilling to say how many children there are. Its very relevant information to any parent considering the school for next year, and who would like some reassurance regarding its long term viability.But there are a number of people in the area who share my concern, (there was you recall, a whole public meeting full) so I am not surprised an FOI has gone in.

Juniorjones Fri 19-Sep-14 14:59:02

@nlondondad,Your obsession about this subject is at best odd and at worst downright intimidating. However I'm sure the detailed freedom of information request that has been put in my someone who seems to share your passion will give you the information you are after. Perhaps you know him?

scaevola Fri 19-Sep-14 14:34:44

Autumn school census day this year is 2 October.

nlondondad Fri 19-Sep-14 14:33:11


if the information is available publically please tell me where we might find it.

The only public information I can find is on the Whitehall Park website where:

1. No numbers are given

2. Applications are still being solicited for reception places, which indicates vacancies, (but actually you seem to accept there are vacancies)


When I contact the school I get no response. I am not the only person to have had that experience. Perhaps you could contact the school on my behalf as you seem on good terms with them?

What I am looking for (to repeat) is the number of children in the school and how many are from the Whitehall Park area.

Meissajj Fri 19-Sep-14 14:13:11

Thank you wihtehallparckdad

TheNewBrown Fri 19-Sep-14 09:51:06

I think the game is up. Nlondondad with his Sherlock Holmes-esque sleuthing skills has discovered the conspiracy. I admit it, there are only actually 4 children at the school. We take them in the front gate, sneak them out the back and bring them in the front again several times each morning to create the illusion that there are more of them.

None of us even live locally. I myself commute from Glasgow every day and one child even flies in from the Channel Islands. wink

whitehallparkdad Fri 19-Sep-14 09:37:01


One of the key differences between the two is around control - academies and free schools are run independently of the control of the local authority but for more info here is a link to the official gov website which might assist.

Best of luck

Meissajj Fri 19-Sep-14 08:12:20

I need advice plzzzzzzz
As we moved to a new house , my soon had offered a place for reception in Ark academy school
To be honest i don't know this school is just opened last september , and i don't know what is the difference between a normal and academic school
Plzz plzz someone give advice
Thank you

whitehallparkdad Fri 19-Sep-14 06:53:05

Again, I am sure that if you contacted the school they would be in a position to provide you with the figures.

Juniorjones Fri 19-Sep-14 06:07:54

The information is publicly available nlondondad.
When you have consistently been so hostile to the school and our decision to send our children there why would we give it to you.?
As your prediction was single figures (so at best 9) and another poster has already told you it is 5 times that number then I am sure you can work it out and will be first to congratulate the school on such a fantastic achievement against all the odds.

nlondondad Thu 18-Sep-14 23:46:52

So the supporters of Whitehall Park School are, it seems, unwilling to give actual figures on Mumsnet for the number of children attending the school. Despite the fact, that, if as you all claim, you have children at the school this must be really obvious, I mean a mere glance around the portocabin would do it. Yet you appear to have figures for other schools.

I note, by the way that the school web site still announces that "reception places are still available" Odd, as during the summer, the Head teacher described her school as "oversubscribed" and earlier still demand for the school was described as "overwhelming"

whitehallparkdad Thu 18-Sep-14 20:29:04


Do you have reception age children that you are looking to move to Whitehall Park School? Speaking to the Headmistress will I am sure give you the information on numbers of children and their precise journey time/route to school.

Juniorjones Thu 18-Sep-14 20:02:12

A lot of the children are local to Whitehall Park and the immediate surrounding areas both on the Islington and Haringey sides of the site.

nlondondad Thu 18-Sep-14 17:04:51

Actually no one has actually answered the question: it is not a difficult one.

"How many children are actually attending Whitehall Park School?"

(telling me its five times another, unspecified, number, does not help).

Although an equally interesting question is:

"How many of them live in the Whitehall Park area?"

Its true that neither of these questions could be answered precisely until term started, but it

TheNewBrown Thu 18-Sep-14 14:11:56


Oh and despite various people having already answered your question about the number of children at Whitehall Park School I will happily reiterate that it is 5 times the number that you gleefully predicted with the exclamation "THEY WILL BE LUCKY TO REACH DOUBLE FIGURES" (your capitals)

TheNewBrown Thu 18-Sep-14 14:06:24


Your argument is flawed because it ignores the fact that the place left vacant at St Michaels by highgatedad choosing Whitehall Park will have been filled by another local parent glad not to have been left with a choice of a failing school in Tottenham or paying exorbitant independent school fees.

nlondondad Tue 16-Sep-14 14:53:20


"would have been" is surely the relevant point. You were offered a place at a school within a reasonable distance of you, ofsted outstanding. You did not "need" Whitehall Park...

be that as it may it would still be interesting to know how many children WPS actually has, ought to be pretty evident by now.

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