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Would welcome advice - applying for pre-school in Streatham Hill

(5 Posts)
gettingbettereveryday Mon 07-Jan-13 11:35:54

Hello, would very much welcome some advice.

I have a 2.5 year old who will qualify for her 15 hours in September this year and our hope is that she can attend a local authority pre-school attached to a primary, ideally where she could then join the reception in September 2014 (we also have a baby who will start reception in September 2017).

We have applied to our local school's nursery but are hoping to move to the Streatham Hill area in the next few months - putting our house on the market imminently but we will obviously not have moved in time to apply for a pre-school place in our new area to the normal timetable (which where we currently are, Wandsworth, is end February for applications - I am finding the Lambeth website hard to penetrate and the person I spoke to on the phone said there no co-ordinated admissions system for pre-school applications, so I just had to call round the primaries).

I am thinking I will call Streatham Wells, Hitherfield, maybe Henry Cavendish B and explain my situation and put in applications for my daughter - with the expectation that we won't stand a chance of a place with our current postcode, but if we at least get on a waiting list then we might be able to work something out once we (hopefully) live in the area.

Does this sound sensible to people? Would really welcome advice as it all seems daunting and I know catchment areas are very tight! Had some great advice from Streatham dwellers when we were first looking at this move early last year but now it seems much more real!

Thank you!

Blu Mon 07-Jan-13 12:35:53

Yes, call those schools and ask what their admissions criteria for the nursery is.

Bear in mind that in the vast majority of community schools (it is different in some faith schools, I think) , there is NO correlation between a place at the nursery and a place in Reception. Nursery places are easier to get because many schools do half days, so can take more nursery children than they can in Reception, and also many parents do not use nursery places because they keep the children at home or else need private daycare nurseries to cover working hours. So you could get a place at the nurseries of one of those schools with no hope at all of being admitted to Reception.

Admission to Reception has it's own separate process and criteria.

So in your shoes I would concentrate on looking for a house in the catchment of the school you ideally want for Reception, and then put yourself on the waiting lists for all the nurseries nearby. Remember that Dunraven School is opening a Reception class in Sept 2013. There will likely be an overlap between the catchments for Dunraven Primary and Hitherfield, but if your top preference is Streatham Wells bear in mind that their priority distance criteria is 'children for whom it is the nearest school' so you will need to be very close and also be sure that you are not closer to Hitherfield, Dunraven - or the new Fenstanton school on the other side of the S Circular.

Streatham Wells and Hitherfield are both very well regarded schools, and as Dunraven is such a good comp it is likely that the primary will be very good too. The catchment for Henry C for Reception doesn't overlap with a catchment for the other schools.

gettingbettereveryday Mon 07-Jan-13 17:11:53

Thank you Blu, I was hoping you might still be on the talkboards! grin)

I note your point about nursery being no guarantee of a reception place - so I agree we will need to keep our eye on the prize of a reception place and settle for whatever may come up for nursery.

Very interesting about the Dunraven primary - is it to be on the secondary site? I assume it won't have a nursery?

Thanks again for your help.

Blu Mon 07-Jan-13 17:59:11

I haven't seen anything about a nursery at Dunraven, no, but Hitherfield and Streatham Wells have more nursery places than Reception places, I think, and both have Children's Centres attached with groups and activities.

Dunraven is being completely re-built on both it's sites as the local MP got the cut to the Building For Schools reversed, and the Primary School will be a self contained site within the Mount Nod Rd secndary school site, I think. 2 class entry.

gettingbettereveryday Tue 08-Jan-13 09:58:25

Thank you so much Blu, really helpful!

Will schedule a walk round the area next week I think!

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