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state primary schools in tooting, sw london - help!

(8 Posts)
Imelda Tue 01-Jul-03 14:22:23

dh and I are well enough off but certainly not enough for private education, and to be honest, I would prefer state education at the primary level. does anyone out there in mumsnet land know of any sw17/16 primaries with a decent education - i don't trust ofsted reports, and short of spending afternoons at school gates spying and cross examining parents I am at a loss as to which ones to apply to? also neither dh and i are religious (sadly)
would really be grateful for any advice
Imelda

Sari Tue 01-Jul-03 14:40:00

I'll be interested in the replies you get as we are in Tooting and coming up to school age as well. A lot will depend whether you're in Merton or Wandsworth. We're about 100 yards over the border into Merton and have been to look at the two closest schools: Links and Gorringe Park. We were impressed with them both but have nothing to compare with so that's not necessarily much to go on. Someone at DS1's nursery has sent their daughter to Links and is pleased with it. I've also been told it's good for nursery and reception in particular. Gorringe used to be a middle school so is just now taking really young children. A lot of it has been refurbished and we were amazed by the facilities, in particular the IT.

I can't help you much with Wandsworth but I think the Furzedown schools are meant to be good. I've also heard that Franciscan isn't, but that's really only third hand and not from anyone who sends their child there. DS2's nanny sends her son to Sellincourt and is happy with it.

Hopefully someone else will have some better info.

Batters Tue 01-Jul-03 17:21:01

Imelda - I'd advise you to have a look on Up My Street to see your nearest schools. Am I right in thinking Tooting is in the borough of Wandsworth? If so, you are probably looking at being able to apply for Lambeth and Wandsworth School. This is what I know about the non-religious schools in Lambeth (we live in SW16 and my dd started school in January so I think my knowledge is quite up to date): Julian's has a SW16 postcode and is top of the Lambeth league tables (not that this means anything on its own) but is well away from you in Leigham Court Road. As it does have such a good reputation it is very, very difficult to get into. Hitherfield also has a SW16 postcode and although it had an awful Ofsted report is, I think, improving in many ways. It does however still suffer from a very poor reputation, which it is really struggling to throw off. Sunnyhill School, again with a SW16 postcode, has a very poor reputation, very poor SATs results and apparantly a real problem with bullying. This by the way is what I have been told, I have no personal experience of it. Henry Cavendish is in Balham and has a SW12 postcode, but took children this January from Streatham and I have heard good things about it.

Also have a look at the primary school league tables either on the BBC or The Guardian websites as these are useful.

Also never, ever be put off my people saying that your child doesn't have a chance of getting into a certain school. My dd is in the first school of our choice, whose secretary laughed when we told her we were applying.... We were originally rejected and asked to remain on the waiting list, and her name came up 5 days after she had started another school.

One of the good things about Lambeth is that you can apply to as many schools as you like and I would recommend you do this if you see schools that impress you. My own impression of Lambeth schools is that there are some very good ones, some okay ones and some that are failing to provide a decent education. Sorry I don't anything about Wandsworth....Hope this helps.

Imelda Tue 01-Jul-03 17:46:53

thanks so much sari nad batters for this info - just to clarify that we are wandsworth borough - does that mean we can still apply for other boroughs? I was under the impression we wouldn't have a hope in hell of getting into another borough's school. also - is there any point at all in applying to CofE schools if neither dh or i attend church (afraid i have hesitation at all in sending ds to a religious school if that means he gets a better education!)
imelda

Batters Tue 01-Jul-03 21:38:42

Imelda - you can apply to whichever schools you want to, whatever borough they are in. The schools' admissions procedures though will probably have siblings in school as first criteria and then distance from school. One of the CofE schools in Streatham, St Leonard's has a policy of children attending church regularly. This seems to mean huge amounts of parents spend every Sunday with their children at the church, they get the place and then never go again - but my view could be jaded . It is a well thought of school. The Catholic school St Andrew's in Streatham has a similar policy. So in short, it would appear that if you aren't religious your child has very little chance of getting a place at a religious school. However every school is different and it may be that some have an admissions policy that includes admitting a certain number of non-religious children each year - I know of a secondary school that does that.

I hope this helps

janinlondon Wed 02-Jul-03 09:12:46

Don't want to hijack your thread Imelda, but can I ask a quick question Batters? I know you had quite a few offers of places for your DD in the end, and I wondered which schools they were? Did Henry Cavendish come up with something? What about Telferscot? Just interested as I'm just up around the corner.

Imelda Wed 02-Jul-03 09:41:49

I checked out the Guardian site and have downloaded the performance tables - as a rule of thumb do you think there is an acceptable %level? also - do you think that it is better to have maths and english on an equal %level, rather than say maths 90% and english 60% or vice versa?
i think our best bet is to apply to as many as possible and then go and see them- i am assuming of course that the schools allow you to do this?
this is such a fantastic web site. how do we spread the word??

Sari Wed 02-Jul-03 11:01:17

We went to look at schools before applying, rather than vice versa. Both schools we saw told us to visit as many as possible so you can certainly do that in Merton.

As for league tables I can't help much with acceptable percentage rates. It's worth bearing in mind that many schools have very high numbers of children who don't speak a lot of English when they get to school and this must affect the results for English more than Maths. Especially if children are coming into different years. Perhaps it's more helpful to see what position in the league table a school is in relation to others in the borough.

I think the best thing to do is go and have a look and see how you feel about each school.

On the strength of Batters' information about applying to other boroughs I'm going to start looking at Wandsworth schools as well.

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