Help - advise please! Primary schools in/near Oakwood - Kerr Mackie, Hovingham etc

(6 Posts)
BrightlineBrowneye Tue 15-Jul-14 12:32:07

We're relocating to Leeds and have finally decided on an area and are buying a house (fingers crossed anyway) in Oakwood, just north of Roundhay Rd. Next problem - trying to get DD, who's due to start reception year in September, a school place. Everywhere is oversubscribed, so we need to go on waiting lists.

Leeds council have advised us that we need to send them a list of schools in order of our preference and that the preference order counts as well as the as-the-crow-flies distance from the school. So it makes sense to put nearest schools near the top of our list, but there's also probably little point in putting schools with massive waiting lists near the top.

Our nearest school would be Kerr Mackie. Seems quite good from the Ofsted but does anyone have any thoughts or opinions about it? I would really welcome some parent views. Frustratingly we are too late now to visit schools before they break up, as they understandably don't want visits in their last week of term, so I will have to compile the list sight-unseen.

Our next nearest is Hovingham, which concerns me a lot from its Ofsted. Followed by Roundhay (massively oversubscribed), then Bracken Edge, Bankside, Gledhow (massively oversubscribed), Roundhay St. Johns. I would be very very grateful for any inside info on any of these schools, particularly the "less-good" ones with shorter waiting lists that we're probably more likely to get offered a place at - Hovingham, Bracken Edge, Bankside etc. Plus any others that are within the Roundhay/Oakwood/Harehills/Chapel Allerton area as we've been told that the council can allocate us anywhere within a two mile radius.

I'm feeling very worried and a bit desperate so any advice/ thoughts/ reassurance would be very gratefully received! Thanks.

SeesawMarjorieDaws Tue 15-Jul-14 12:38:32

I would get on waiting lists for Talbot Primary and Gledhow, with Kerr Mackie as a third choice. You may be too far for Talbot but it is probably the best. I think Kerr Mackie is ok but Gledhow and Talbot preferable. I don't know any of the others, sorry. Roundhay Primary is a very new school (only opened last year I think)and I don't know much about it, BUT it is the feeder primary for Roundhay high school which has outstanding from Ofsted.

delilahnancy Wed 30-Jul-14 22:52:57

Hi our daughter is going to Kerr Mackie in September. It wasn't our first choice and obviously we don't really know what it's like until she starts but we are pleased with what we have seen so far and the head teacher seems lovely, a good leader with a vision for the school.
Gledhow and Talbot are hugely popular and we loved Gledhow, still a bit disappointed that we didn't get a place there - so good choices but I would imagine the waiting list for those two schools is going to be long.
Roundhay is a fantastic facility but has taken an additional form entry this year so there will be 90 reception pupils which would have put me off.
I personally would avoid Bracken Edge and Hovingham. Bracken Edge is our nearest but we put it last preference - it has had loads of problems over the years, v high turnover of children due to lots of temp accommodation nearby, a colleagues if mine was a governor there and said 'they do their best but they are always up against it'. similar story at Hovingham in fact probably worse as at least bracken edge is a lovely building and right next to the park. Having said that some parents speak highly of bracken edge so it does depend in who you are and what you are looking for.

I hope that helps and hasn't confused you even more! Let me know if you do end up with a place at Kerr Mackie and I'd be happy to meet up. Our little girl won't know anyone there so it would be nice for her to make a friend early on smile

BrightlineBrowneye Tue 05-Aug-14 14:16:36

Thanks for these replies. I'm trying to compile my preference list for the council but it's so hard, I've been sticking my head in the sand about it for the last couple of weeks!

I'd been planning to put Kerr Mackie at the top because it seems to offer our best chance of a place nearby, but I've just found a document online listing all the Leeds primary school allocations by distance for 2014, it gives the "furthest distance a pupil was admitted if it was their nearest school" and for Kerr Mackie this was only 0.293 miles, less than most primaries on the list and less than the distance we'll be from the school. It does also say that the "furthest distance a pupil was admitted if it was not their nearest school" was 1.048 mile. I'm really confused by this!

Delilah, how far away are you from Kerr Mackie? (Roughly, it doesn't have to be to 3 decimal places!!)

Gledhow doesn't seem to have taken anyone further than 0.397 miles, so I think we've got no chance there. And Talbot even less so.

I've had confusing conflicting info about Roundhay - the Leeds admission document says that the distance is calculated from the new primary site, which would be logical, but the person I spoke to at Leeds council insists that it's calculated from the secondary site even for the primary intake, which would put it as one of our closest. Delilah, that's useful info about the reception size, that is huge, it would normally put me off, but at this stage it doesn't.

Do you know anything about Roundhay St John's? I would much prefer not to send my daughter to a faith school but I'm feeling desperate and they are the only local school I've rang who suggested we might have a chance of a place at the distance we live.

Delilah, I'm reassured about Kerr Mackie from your comments - if my dd ends up with a place there perhaps we can meet up and introduce our daughters!

delilahnancy Sun 17-Aug-14 22:45:33

Hi again - I think we are about 0.7 miles from Kerr Mackie and it's our second closest school. The figures are confusing but what I believe is happening is the new roundhay primary will be scooping up lots of children who would previously have gone to Kerr Mackie as their closest school which has freed up spaces for people who don't live as close by and it's not their nearest school - like us. Hope that doesn't confuse you even more! As far as I know admissions to roundhay primary are calculated on the primary site but who knows....
Sorry but I don't know much about roundhay St. John's as we didn't look into any faith schools but very anecdotally I believe it has a good reputation locally.
Good luck with it all and I hope they find you a place soon - if it is Kerr Mackie give me a shout, happy to meet and welcome you and your daughter to Leeds smile

Mamabelle55 Mon 22-Jun-15 19:44:59

I realise this is an old post but since it came up when I had cause to search for the school I thought is comment for anyone else who stumbled upon it. My son is just full bushing reception year and I can say hand on heart that Kerr Mackie primary school is excellent - and I really don't say that lightly, the start of little ones education is so important. The head is fantastic so positive and genuine. Facilities are great, pre and post school clubs well organised. The staff work together fantastically well meeting pastoral as well as educational needs. School meals are healthy and varied, my son has made some great friends. If you can preference this school then do - I looked around gledhow and Talbot, Kerr Mackie was our first choice of the three for many reasons and so glad we got it!

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