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Is there a shortage of school places in Highgate, Archway, Crouch End area?

(190 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

nlondondad Sun 21-Apr-13 10:58:18

I was wondering if anyone was experiencing difficulty in getting a place for their child in this area of N. London? Postal codes N19, N8, N6 are relevant?

nlondondad Wed 07-Aug-13 09:31:52

Islington Council figures indicate that there is no one in the area who does not have a school place available. Is there anyone on here whose experience differs?

nlondondad Fri 27-Sep-13 19:15:26

I have just come back from a late summer holiday, and schools are well started. So at this stge the admissions season for autumn 2013 ought to be over. So I am reviving this thread to ask How was it? Did anyone hear of people without 1.Any place at the start? or 2. Only a place or places they found unacceptable due to distance?

scriptbunny Sat 28-Sep-13 19:10:39


I am new to this thread but I thought this link might be relevant. I heard about the proposed expansion of this school from a parent and here it the explanation on the school's newsletter. It seems to suggest that there has indeed been a shortage of places in this area this year:

Watching this subject with interest, because we'll be applying for a school place in the area in a couple of years.


nlondondad Mon 30-Sep-13 10:29:07

Thanks for this script bunny. I note that the school is to the far north of Crouch End really between Muswell Hill and Alexandra Palace so, in true London fashion, it is outside my area of local knowledge.

I see it is also a church school which is an extra complication. The website explains they have a waiting list of 24, all of which will now be offered places for this year as they are adding the class immediately. It would be interesting to know how many of that 24 have been offered places elsewhere already, (and if so where they were - how far away for example) but will now transfer as their parents want a Church (Of England?) rather than a secular school.

scriptbunny Tue 01-Oct-13 22:55:32

All good points, nld.

It makes me think that this education thing is worse than talking to a gas company. Trying to get a clear picture of what is actually going on seems nigh on impossible. Still watching with interest though...

nlondondad Wed 02-Oct-13 22:21:31

I now have the most up to date (and now pretty stable as the term well started) admissions figures from Islington. There are no children in the Archway area without a school place. There are five vacant reception class places at Hargrave Park. There are a further 22 vacant reception places in the North of the Borough. (There are 53 vacant places in the South of the Borough). All late applicants in Islington also have places except the last three recently received, who have not yet been allocated a place, but they are not in the Archway area anyway.

IsabellaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-Oct-13 10:03:24

You might want to use our Local site for Haringey, which has talk boards used by local people to discuss local issues, as well as hundreds of listings including schools.

whitehallparkdad Fri 18-Oct-13 20:45:26

Just picking up on this thread. I was wondering if there were any stats for children who did not get a reception place at a primary school close by (ie local) so have relunctantly gone private?

Do they drop out of the figures that are being provided about there being no shortage of school places.

nlondondad Sat 19-Oct-13 15:48:03

I presume there must be some parents, although not many, whose order of preference for schools could have been 1 or 2, or perhaps 3 local school state schools, followed by a fee paying independent. So at the end of the admissions season if they had not got a place at one of their state options, then they would go private. One does, very occasionally, hear of a parent who says they will accept a place at x school, but if they dont get it go private. (The inverse of that is the parent, who while saying they are opposed to private schools in principle says they had no alternative because they were not offered an acceptable school.)

However in the admission stats generated by the state school admission system what shows up are people who apply to at least one state school and are not offered a place. They would then continue to show as "unallocated" unless they contacted admissions and asked to be taken off the list because they had made their own arrangements - but they would have no incentive to bother doing this as the sensible thing to do is stay on the waiting lists for their favoured schools in case of a late offer -which they would have the option of declining.

This year, in the general area of Whitehall Park, rather broadly defined there were seven children who in the first admissions round showed up as:-

1. Having only applied to Ashmount and Coleridge in order of their preference

2. Not having a place.

Some of these will have been offered places off the waiting list for at least one of the two schools. They would also have the possibility of being offered a place at Hargrave Park.

So I suppose your question becomes "Were there any children in the Whitehall Park area who, in the event turned down all the places they were offered?"

I will ask, but I reckon the answer must be less than seven.

nlondondad Sat 19-Oct-13 23:16:56


I understand your point but the area is also in Islington -the boundary between Islington and haringey runs though the area, down the middle of Hornsey Lane.

whitehallparkdad Mon 21-Oct-13 15:49:37

Do you have any figures for those who are based on the other side of hornsey lane - ie done stanhope road, claremount (sp), miltons way who may have done this? Moving the school seems to have created a bit of a black hole really.

whitehallparkdad Mon 21-Oct-13 15:59:08

Apologies that "down" stanhope etc.

nlondondad Tue 22-Oct-13 23:37:48

No I dont have the detailed figures for Haringey - I dont have the same working relationship with the officers there (I am on the Schools' Forum in Islington, and you get to know people) but I would point out that when you get to the Miltons your school of choice would usually be Highgate Primary and of course the C of E school, St Michaels Highgate. If anyone can supply more detailed local information from there would be great to have it.

I dont agree that a black hole has been created, in the sense that its an area without neighbouring school places, they would have had Highgate Primary.

When Ashmount was in its old building we never got children from there.

whitehallparkdad Wed 23-Oct-13 14:16:30

I think that there is a difference between being offered a place and being offered a place at a local school. By that I mean Ashmount or Coleridge. Parents may not want to travel much further than that.

I don't think I would be accepting a place in kings cross living in Whitehall park.

whitehallparkdad Wed 23-Oct-13 14:20:59

See your point about re Highgate. It seems a long way off. St micheals has quite strict criteria so don't think it counts. I am aware of people who live in the village itself who have not been offered a place there despite being regular churchgoers - though that was for the nursery.

nlondondad Wed 23-Oct-13 15:39:57

We were talking about the Miltons which is to the north of the Whitehall Park area and so their nearest school may well be Highgate primary.And certainly in the past children from there did not go to Ashmount.

But if you live in the Whitehall Park area to the west of the old Ashmount site Hargrave Park is the same distance as Ashmount School now is.

(By the shortest walking route -I checked that yesterday)

jakecat Wed 23-Oct-13 19:13:31

I'm a bit surprised that there were no children from the Miltons or along Stanhope Rd at the old Ashmount. When I toured the new Ashmount & some one queried whether the new location meant that there were more children from Islington or from Harringey the answer was that there had always been lots of Harringey children as the old site was on the border (which is Hornsey Lane). If those children didn't come from the Miltons or the area just North of Hornsey Lane where were they from? Which Borough the children come from isn't of course the point but if there have always been Harringey children the likelihood must be that they were from that area & that they are now squeezed on school places too. Highgate Primary can't have picked up all of them surely as it hasn't added extra spaces.

nlondondad Wed 23-Oct-13 20:32:46

Actually (and oddly) a significant number of Haringey children came from further away. For a number of years Ashmount was undersubscribed at reception, in fact this year is the third year of oversubscription. (Parents were put off by the building. The undersubscription stopped when the move to the new building was confirmed, albeit on a more optimistic timetable then turned out to be the case...)

Consequently for people who moved in during the school year Ashmount was often a good option, especially as more than one sibling could be fitted in, in different years if need be. We had a number of American families posted here for a year or two, in corporate lets in Highgate, the first family got on so well they referred the others on. We were by know means the nearest school, but we could accomodate all the children in different years.

My comment about the Miltons remains true that in terms of ordinary admissions they seemed to prefer Highgate primary but I am thinking about the ones in the direction of Shepherds Hill.

So far as the immediate north side of Hornsey Lane is concerned they were within range of Hargrave Park this year.

nlondondad Wed 23-Oct-13 20:42:12

By the way no evidence from this thread that Crouch End is squeesed for places. Actually the number of unique applications in Crouch End has fallen each year for the last three years.

jakecat Wed 23-Oct-13 20:58:25

I am not trying to be pedantic but I am not sure that is right. The map at page 10 of this document is helpful.

It suggests that there was a significant area North of Hornsey Lane that was not in the Hargrave Park catchment area (or in Highgate Primary's).

These figures do not reflect the additional 15 places added at Hargrave Park but the Islington Admissions brochure for September 2014 makes clear that the decision about whether there will be 45 places or 30 at Hargrave Park in September 2014 won't be made until February. Not much comfort for people who have to apply by 15th January.

nlondondad Thu 24-Oct-13 00:13:02


The map is wrong. Hargrave Park added 15 additional places during the admissions process, and, in the event, did not fill five of them. Consequently this year Hargrave Park did not have a catchment area as such as there was no cut off point.

The reason no decision will be made regarding whether to add an extra 15 until after applications are in is that Islington need to see if they are needed. If they are they will be created. In fact up to 30 places could be added. If the places are needed, they will be there.

nlondondad Thu 24-Oct-13 00:23:19

I also need to warn you he document you are quoting is hopelessly unreliable, written by someone who on his own admission did not have access to accurate data, (he complains that Islington refused to co operate with him so he had to fill in gaps with speculation) who did not understand the difference between a PAN, net capacity or how bulge classes work, or indeed the resourcing cycle of local authorities. Its a very complicated area.

It was on the basis of that document that ASAG stated on 2nd May 2013

“Reception classes in September 2013
It seems that there are likely to be more than enough children to fill a class if Ashmount School were to reopen as a free school this year, and probably enough for 2 classes. At present we understand that if enough parents express firm interest in a 2013 class, PLACE, one of the bidders to open a free school on the site in 2014, may be able to provide one.”

This is a claim of a shortage of up to sixty places....

And followed this up on 22 July 2013

“...there is already, this September, a shortage of places in the reception year in this school area.”

In fact the actual position on 2/10/13 was there were no children in the Whitehall Park area without a school place. There were five vacant reception class places at Hargrave Park. There were a further 22 vacant reception places in the North of the Borough (there were 53 vacant places in the South of the Borough). All late applicants in Islington also had places at that date except the last three recently received, who have not yet been allocated a place, but they were not in the Whitehall park area anyway.

So his predictions for this year were very wrong.

Given that all the Hargrave Park places did not fill this year you can see why Islington are cautious about creating places until they see what is actually happening. Especially as there is a downward trend in applications in Crouch End and both Coleridge and Ashmount had large numbers of siblings.

If the downward trend continued, and there were less siblings then the Coleridge and Ashmount catchments could well expand significantly. These things are subject to fluctuation. we cannot know for sure until the exact figures are in. What we do know is that Islington has significant net capacity in its schools and can therefore raise the PANs of these schools if required.

TheNewBrown Thu 24-Oct-13 08:59:11


Thanks for posting that link. It is very helpful to see visually the cut-off distances all in one place and shows very clearly the lack of choices open to parents in the area around the old Ashmount site. The fact the Islington was forced to create bulge classes locally also demonstrates the lack of spaces.
To those posters (especially those with significant undeclared conflicts of interest) who continually refute Islington and Haringey's published figures and claim that their 'secret' figures show that the parents in this area are all happy and have plenty of choices of schools should provide those figures stating their sources. Until they do that, I for one, will assume they are at best misinformed and at worst disingenuous.

nlondondad Sat 26-Oct-13 00:11:49


What an odd post...

Passing over the bizarre innuendo that there are mumsnet posters "with significant undeclared conflicts of interest" ("or is there something you need to tell us about yourself?)You also seem to say that there are posters on this thread making claims based on "secret figures" and that it has been claimed "that the parents in this area are all happy and have plenty of choices of schools". Well I have read through the whole thread again and dont find any such claims.

I started this thread to answer the question as to whether there was a shortage of places in a particular bit of London, THIS YEAR. And the admissions season being over for this year the answer appears to be broadly "no" so far as the people posting here is concerned, and there has been no local press coverage either.

nlondondad Sat 26-Oct-13 00:16:33

But the report TheNewBrown is so keen on predicted a shortage of between 30 and sixty places in the Whitehall Park area, which has not happened, as all children who did not get into Ashmount or Coleridge had the option of Hargrave Park. (A recently OfSteded "good" school, expanded by 15 places which still has some vacancies.)

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