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Epsom / Banstead schools...

(12 Posts)
curiousgeorgie Mon 03-Sep-12 13:36:14

Just had an offer accepted on a house near Epsom downs station...

Warren Mead infant school is 0.3 miles away.
Wallace Fields infant school 0.8 miles away...
Shawley Community Primary School 1 mile away..
Banstead Infant School 1.2
St Martins 1.3

Do you think we realistically stand a chance of getting our DD into Wallace Fields at 0.8 miles away? It is the second closest school..

Otherwise does anyone know anything about the others?

sandyballs Mon 03-Sep-12 13:38:12

I only know about Wallace Fields as a friend has kids there and it is is very very over-subscribed. But 0.8 miles away might be ok, surely?

PatriciaHolm Mon 03-Sep-12 15:56:16

The furthest distance Wallace fields
Infants admitted this year was 0.688m, so 0.8 miles is far too far unfortunately. None of the schools in the area are particularly bad tbh, though most are oversubscribed so realistically you have little choice.

Banter Tue 04-Sep-12 21:54:15

You haven't said which year you're trying to get your DD into but in your shoes, I’d make appointments to look at all of the local schools. Don’t just rely on “reputation”, Ofsted and other external information – you know your daughter best and what type of school she will enjoy most. At infants, getting that right is key. You want her to be excited about learning and champing at the bit to get to school every day. A happy child in a good school will make a lot more progress than a miserable child in an outstanding one.

If you are applying for an immediate place (rather than reception in 2013), get on the waiting lists of as many contenders as possible once you’ve exchanged. Make sure you ring around the schools regularly to check with them about spare places. Surrey can take ages to pick up on empty places.

If you’re applying for reception in 2013, make sure you exchange before the deadline (15th January) so that you can apply through the normal process. Living as close to those schools as you do, I’d put them in your preference order.

Unfortunately, your area living with the consequences of the problem that Surrey caused infant and junior schools on the same site when it introduced the reciprocal sibling criteria for shared-site schools WITHOUT implementing a tiered sibling priority. For over-subscribed schools, particularly schools like Wallace Fields that have had extra bulge-year classes, this has caused more siblings than can be coped with. As the recent adjudication on Wallace Fields highlights : “Following the introduction of the reverse sibling rule, sibling numbers increased dramatically between 2010 and 2011”, leading to the current situation at these schools whereby “oldest” children are not getting places even when they live as close to the schools as you do (0.688 miles away last year). Even if that eldest child is a pupil in the infant school and the new sibling lives 20 miles away, it cuts no ice; if there isn’t a tiered sibling criterion, the local children have to go elsewhere.

In reality, the choice between an “older” family that’s moved away and an existing / new family living locally is a no-brainer for schools – local parents mean fewer parking problems, so more supportive neighbours and the families are more likely to attend events and support the school, etc, etc. The WF schools and Surrey tried to get a tiered sibling criterion introduced for 2013 – which is happening – but their attempt to alleviate all of the problems caused by the reciprocal sibling criterion failed this year because they were not in the original consultation. Presumably Surrey will be consulting on those aspects this year, so those difficulties will get resolved over time.

Denix Thu 06-Sep-12 13:39:42

Hi. I just moved into the area. Likely too far for Wallace Fields given the distance accepted this year. However, Warren Mead is a great school as well. I met the head and I got a really good impression. Its small and fmily oriented and the pupils do very well. You should try to visit if you can.

Shawley is alright although it has a much more mixed-income population compared to all the others on your list. You would get in as it isn't oversubscribed at the moment. In fact, apart from The Vale, Epsom downs schools are not in high demand! I'm not sure why exactly.

Banstead is outstanding but at 1.2 miles, most probably be on a waiting list. I don't know much about St Martins but I hear it's excellent.

Approximately Thu 06-Sep-12 22:33:18

Does anyone know what years wallace fields infant and junior have had bulge classes? And also is there a bulge class currently at st martins?

PatriciaHolm Thu 06-Sep-12 22:54:52

I think WF Infants admitted a bulge in 2009 and 2010. I don't think Juniors has, but I am prepared to be corrected!

roberta123 Fri 20-Nov-15 14:57:51

HI. Anyone has any views on Banstead Infant School? THANKS

musicinspring1 Fri 20-Nov-15 15:02:55

I have family at Banstead infants and they love it. Not sure about the juniors as they haven't got there yet. I also know families at Warren mead and they're happy too. Shawley way has never had a god reputation in the area but I don't know how much of that is 'snobbery ' iyswim. They recently had a 'good' ofsted which is not easy to get so don't write it off.

musicinspring1 Fri 20-Nov-15 16:56:14

*good. grin

TurnOffTheTv Fri 20-Nov-15 17:01:07

Banstead is a lovely little school, my daughter had an in year admission there and it was great.

ShelaghTurner Fri 20-Nov-15 17:05:33

I think current year 3 is a bulge year at St Martins

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