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Should we move to STOKE NEWINGTON?

(16 Posts)
franch Mon 10-Jan-05 12:12:35

Currently in Islington but need somewhere bigger and although we could afford to stay in the area we can't afford anywhere nice within walking distance of Upper St. I'm a SAHM and I think I'd rather be within walking distance of Stoke Newington Church St than stuck at the edge of Islington, having to drive or get the bus any time I want to go anywhere.

Any thoughts on Stokey? Particularly interested in how much family stuff there is going on there, what schools are like (state and private - are there any of the latter?), crime rates, transport links, etc etc - all the usual stuff.

frogs Mon 10-Jan-05 12:24:44

I know lots of people in Stokie -- it's very family-friendly. Good parks, soft play areas, cafes, etc. I think it's because lots of people have moved there for the reasons you cite -- you get a better deal for the same amount of money as in the nice bits of Islington. There are lots of nurseries, full and part-time and playgroups, and a one-o'clock club in Clissold Park. But the big multi-million pound leisure centre is all shut up pending legal action against the architects and builders. So for swimming etc. you have to go to Highbury or Britannia.

Schools are a bit mixed. Good ones I know of are Betty Layward, Grasmere and William Patten, but all schools are really oversubscribed, and the catchment areas for the good ones are tiny (ie. less than 100m from front gate). The primary schools brochure from Hackney Council (now Learning Trust) should give you an idea of last year's catchments. There are several Jewish schools if that applies to you, but all pretty orthodox, I think. No Catholic school. I don't think there are any private ones either -- people tend to go to Dallington or Charterhouse square, which are both in Islington.


frogs Mon 10-Jan-05 12:27:33

Also, secondary school provision is truly appalling, unless you live on the doorstep of Stoke Newington school, which is meant to be a flagship successful comprehensive. But people who've tried it say it's still quite rough -- lots of kids sitting in class with their hoodies up looking threatening, that kind of thing.

franch Mon 10-Jan-05 12:52:27

Thanks very much for the info frogs. Schools seem to be a headache generally in N London, unless you live somewhere like Hampstead!

Bloatella Mon 10-Jan-05 13:53:04

I've heard that there are good secondary schools in Camden, don't know if it's still true. Have you considered Crouch End? I've heard it has about 8 good primary schools. Not great transport links but lovely houses and shops.

franch Mon 10-Jan-05 13:55:49

Don't know Crouch End that well Bloatella - just like the 'feel' of Stokey. Probably need to check Crouch End out - thanks

DecafArabica Mon 10-Jan-05 17:05:06

I'm a bit biased, because I have lived in Stoke Newington on and off since 1984, but I love living here. There's a pleasant villagey atmosphere to Church St, and, as I work from home and DS (3) is only in childcare 3 mornings a week, most of the time we are out and about in N16. I don't know about private schools but we've been looking at the local state schools and they all seem very good with a great atmosphere and very welcoming to visitors. I'd recommend visiting during the week and checking out the cafes/noticeboards to look at what's on & to see if the bus routes take you where you want to go.

franch Mon 10-Jan-05 17:15:53

Thanks Arabica - you've confirmed my feelings exactly. Sadly my mum lives in the west end and although she can get a bus practically door to door at the mo, she'd have to get 2 buses to get to Stokey, which is not ideal. (This is a big factor as I rely on her a lot!) But we'd get significantly more for our money there than we would here and I do like the area, so I think we may end up there. You'll have to show me around

Bloatella Mon 10-Jan-05 17:17:40

I know both very well and would die of joy if I could afford to live in either, a very excellent dilemma to have! Both are traditional next moves for Islingtonians and both are really fab for kids. A good way to check either out would be to go to the very nice cafe in Priory Park (Crouch End) on a Sat. morning and talk to other parents. The same goes for Clissold Park (my local park when my ds was a baby). Sat am in the park cafe and the playground next to it are both full of parents like you who will all be international experts on every aspect of each stage of education. The catchment areas for schools in Stoke are shrinking by each month. My friend said they've built a load of maisonettes between her and her beloved primary and she's scared it'll bump them out of the catchment. In Crouch End I believe you are much better off because apparently there are just so many good primary schools. Don't know about 2ndary. Also worth seeing the Guardian website for the article a month or so ago which said Stoke N. was the best place in the country to bring up kids. But not forgetting that it is in Hackney which is one of the most challenged boroughs in the UK!

Also you might look in Tufnell Park as well, I think some of it comes under Camden which is certainly better than Hackney for 2ndary schools. I think the book called The London Property guide gives you a great rundown of each area schools too.

Good luck!

franch Mon 10-Jan-05 17:20:15

Thanks bloatella - great advice

donnie Mon 10-Jan-05 18:01:09

if you move to Crouch End I think I'm correct in stating that makes you eligible for Haringey schools which are NOT GOOD!!!!!! and don't be fooled by the denominational secondary ones, they are very rough indeed, some of them. not too sure bout private schools in the Stokey area but all the people I know who live there like it.

franch Mon 10-Jan-05 18:30:28

Thanks donnie! Will check that out

Newyearmum Mon 10-Jan-05 18:37:59

Sod the schools, Stoke Newington has some great curry places!

franch Mon 10-Jan-05 18:47:06

SO true, Newyearmum! That's where we had our first meal out after DD was born

Posey Mon 10-Jan-05 19:19:57

I've got friends in both Crouch End and Stoke Newington and they remind me of each other. Similar type of High Streets, decent enough primary schools. Friend was a secondary teacher in Crouch End and that was one of the reasons they left London. Said he was scared, so wouldn't dream of sending his kids there.

DecafArabica Tue 11-Jan-05 12:03:55

The coffee places in Stokey are also excellent--and we have a lovely child-friendly pizza cafe too (Il Bacio Express)!

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