MOVING TO LONDON - BATTERSEA?(8 Posts)
We are moving to London next month and in search of a suitable region for kids. Our daughter will start reception class (through in year admission process.)
May anyone give some feedback regarding Battersea? which area is better for a kid and also fo easy transportation? What about the state schools that awe should concentrate on? For instance, Chesterton, Shaftesbury etc. Many thanks in advance,
My old stamping ground!
Defer to anyone with current experience, but if you're definitely looking at that end of Battersea this might help.
Chesterton has a very high level of pupils with proxy markers for disadvantage, but that in itself has attracted some fantastic teachers and it was consistently rated outstanding (because of the added value - don't know how it does under the new inspection rules)
St Mary's (bit further along Bat Park Road) was always undersubscribed (the Catholic schools near Falcon Park/CJ station apparently being the preferred ones)
Don't know much about Shaftesbury - possibly because people seemed to prefer the nearby John Burns, or from there would try to get their DC into a couple of schools just in Lambeth (Heathbrook and Macaulay (VA CofE, with 1/3 places on community criteria)
Wix is the other one near there. Mixed reputation, but looking ahead, it's a feeder for Bolingbroke Academy.
The thing about Battersea is that although it has an enormous train station it doesn't have tubes unless you are prepared to walk ages to Clapham Common and then not be able to get on a tube anyway because it's so crowded.
The first step is to get to the TfL journey planner (or the excellent CityMapper app), and plan journeys from a sample street in the area you're looking at to each workplace. Then try again ten minutes earlier and later. Then try eliminating trains and/or tubes to work out your fallback plan. I don't know the Battersea primaries but in general all London state primaries are a) good b) oversubscribed c) have a lot of movement in and out during the year. So you have a decent chance of in-year admission as long as you make sure your nearest schools are community schools and not religious schools which will put you at the bottom of the list for entry.
Tube is coming to Nine Elms, though. And the bit of Battersea that's near the schools she mentions is well connected by bus routes and only a short walk to Sloane Square.
Which bits of London do you think you'll need to reach easily/frequently/in rush hour?
That area of Battersea is changing rapidly with the redevelopment of the Nine Elms/Battersea Power Station areas. There is a lot of pressure on state primary school places and many parents are just glad to be allocated a place anywhere. Those schools with free places in reception are likely to be among the least popular - probably because they have a high proportion of students from disadvantaged families - but they will still be good schools and your DC will still achieve there.
Do you already have accommodation sorted out? Because you will not be able to apply anywhere without an address. And how long are you planning on staying because you might like to factor in secondary applications as well - and that will make a bigger difference than primary.
Shaftesbury Park is a large school which has traditionally been undersubscribed with locals preferring the denominational schools or John Burns or going private. But I think it was full this year - partly because canny parents who would prefer a more popular school include it on their list if they live relatively close on the grounds that an undersubscribed school nearby is better than an undersubscribed school a long way away. It has also introduced a bilingual strea (French) which is popular with some parents who cannot get in to Wix.
St Marys now has a new state of the art school building and is right in the heart of the new developments so the demographic should change.
Traditionally Battersea parents have preferred Honeywell and Bellevue. But you are unlikely to get a reception place at either unless you live very close - on the doorstep for Honeywell. And that will apply as an in year applicant at this age. Also even if you get a reception place at Honeywell, you will have to reapply for a junior place and you wont get one without a sibling/nearby address.
Wandsworth Council publish a booklet with details of how many apply to which schools and how close you need to be to get in. You can deduce a lot from that.
As an in year admission it is a case of which school has a space when you apply. You will probably need to accept the place quite fast.Even if you move next door to your favoured school if it is full it is full. The LEA does have to find you a school somewhere though so all is not lost and you can go on the waiting list for schools your prefer.
Most London primary schools are over subscribed but the population is fluid so places do come up and as I said they do have to find you a space
By your use of the word "mom" I assume you are American.
For transport have a look at TfLs journey planner. The best transport links are probably the areas around Clapham Junction (Shaftsbury Estate, Little India etc) or the new residential area near the new American Embassy, close to Vauxhall tube and train station, or somewhere on Clapham Common within walking distance of Clapham northern line station.
You may be surprised at how socially mixed, many state primary schools are. Battersea, especially North Battersea, has quite a high proportion of social housing. (Which in turn led to less popular schools, so more parents buying their way out, or playing the religion card. In fairness though London state schools have improved a lot over recent years, and people have started coming back.) This is less so when you get closer to the Commons. However as pp have said, arriving mid-year may mean that you have to take what you are given. It would be worth phoning Wandsworth Council Education Department and seeing if they can indicate what schools might have vacancies. They will be obliged to find you a place somewhere.
I'd strongly recommend Heathbrook school. Our daughter will start there in Sep 17. It was the best of a large number of schools we looked at in Clapham/Battersea. Great facilities, amazing head and very aspirational parents.
Area wise to live Clapham Old Town, Abbeville Road and Clapham Northside are all lovely areas. Shaftesbury estate is better value probably. Nowhere is cheap though. You could always rent for a year.
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