State secondary schools in islington - do we have to move out

(7 Posts)
Peasantsrevolt Wed 19-Mar-14 12:05:16

Ok so it is a while off but we are considering moving from Islington when DS gets to secondary school as we can't afford private and I get the feeling (and have spoken to other mums and a teacher i know) that there are no good state secondary schools! Particularly in the Highbury area.
I love living in Islington? but obviously DS education comes first.

frogs Wed 19-Mar-14 17:21:42

What are you talking about? Nowadays people are fighting to get into Highbury Grove, it has amazing facilities. There's also Highbury Fields school (know several girls who went through there who have done very well). And StMM, if you're in area for that. Parts of Highbury are also in catchment for Stoke Newington School. EGA has a good reputation as well. And that's without looking at options further afield. So to say you "know that there are no good state secondary schools" in your area is nonsense.

Maybe you should see if you can go to one of the Meet the Parents events that Charlie Higson was extolling recently before you write off a whole borough's worth of schools?


Peasantsrevolt Wed 19-Mar-14 22:02:11

Thanks for replying. I think it was all the local conversations after the stabbing and air ambulance at highbury grove. I walk past the memorial to the boy who died frequently and it scares me!

frogs Thu 20-Mar-14 07:49:24

Well yes, that was not good. But I really don't think you can judge a school by one horrible incident that happened off the school premises.

As long as a school has good teachers and a reasonable cohort of motivated children achieving good results (notwithstanding they will have their fair share of lower-achievers) then there's no reason why any child who goes there should not be able to achieve similarly. I know a boy who went to HG when it was very much a school to avoid, who got straight As and A* in his GCSEs, and he wasn't the only one.

Now they have some fantastic stuff going on, the music is amazing by all accounts. Yes, there will be some disaffectected kids from troubled backgrounds, but that doesn't make it a bad school. We're not in area for HG, but if we were I would definitely go and look - there's a lot to be said for a school with a mixed intake in terms of producing confident children with a good sense of their own strengths and weaknesses. Some of those schools are achieving amazing results with a very mixed bag of kids - although schools in more suburban areas may have better headline results, they are not having to work nearly so hard to get them, so on that analysis the inner-city schools may well be doing a much better job.

Take what other people say with a large pinch of salt - everybody has a vested interest in justifying the decisions they have made for their own dc, which may not necessarily have much basis in reality or any relation to the factors that are important in your own decision-making.

Go and have a look at all the various schools nearer the time, get a feel for what's going on there, and then weigh it all up.

SuAngel Mon 11-May-15 16:26:18

Hi there, I was also looking at Highbury Grove for my DS in the future, but I am American so I am not sure what it means when it says a school specialises in Music and Business? Are those the only or the main courses they teach? Do they have other subjects as well and do they allow for a broader curriculum?

ifonlytherewastime Thu 16-Jul-15 11:51:36

Hi SuAngel, Most secondary schools that I know of, state that they specialise in 1 or 2 subjects. One of my local schools specialise in performing arts, the other in science. All schools teach the full curriculum, it just means that have/had additional funding for those subjects, and/or good facilities. Also, some schools do not have the provision to offer every child their first choice when choosing GCSEs. For example, one school may only have 75 places for children choosing to do all 3 sciences. So those not in the top sets may not get a place. Whereas a school that specialises in science may offer all children 3 sciences.

I hope that helps.

Jojoks Sun 19-Jun-16 08:47:17

I have the same fears and hopes as you. The secondary schools in islington are massive with little outside space but do try to do the best with what they have. The gang culture in islington is strong and it is intimidating to send a child into that even if the school itself is well run and getting good results from an undoubtedly mixed and comprehensive intake. I veer between the two options on one hand teach my child about the reality of the world whilst hopefully a good head and strong school will allow them to flourish but worry about them being gritty enough in that environment. Or move out and give them a sheltered but probably more comfortable experience. My brother went to a inner city school that was supposed to be good and repeatedly under achieved in every way. He didn't come out gritty and real he came out with low expectations. So I am not complacent. Think about your child and see the schools. As already posted Highbury grove, Mary magdalen are supposed to be excellent you just have to see if you're in the catchment and if you can see your child doing well there.

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