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

(190 Posts)

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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?

sanam2010 Wed 01-May-13 13:32:50

TheInvisibleHand - thx for the info! Just what I expected! And in a couple of years time it will probably be 0.3 like other good schools!

jakecat Thu 02-May-13 19:38:32

Does anyone know at which schools children who live in Whitehall Park area or near the old Ashmount site have got places for this year? The reduction in the Ashmount catchment area is what we'd expected but is still frustrating. Obviously moving the school has changed (and shrunk) it's catchment but I'm sure there was a lot of stuff before the school moved about how it was expected to stay broadly the same.

We'll be doing admissions for September 2014 and the small size of the catchment areas for any schools that are in walking distance (regardless of whether they are popularly thought of to be "good" or not) is depressing.

sammisatt Sat 04-May-13 15:30:29

I'm bumping this jakecat as I'd like to know too as we want to move to Whitehall Park. I know of someone who got their child into Hargrave Park but no luck with Ashmount.

Turniphead1 Sat 04-May-13 16:36:36

I have a sept 13 starter at a west Harringey school and have two older children, and haven't heard any of the nightmare stories that were around two years ago.

We got our first place, but sibling and expected to. Haven't heard of anyone allocated east of the borough schools as so often happens.

nlondondad Tue 07-May-13 12:03:20

Historically people in the Whitehall Park area have sent their children to a number of schools. These have included, (in no particular order) Yerbury, Hargrave Park, Brookfield, Coleridge, and of course, Ashmount. Then there are Church Schools St Michaels, Highgate, St Johns, Upper Holloway, (Both C of E) and St Josephs, Highgate Hill (Roman Catholic) there are also three private prep schools. The difficulty of getting into a particular school can fluctuate very much from year to year. These days Yerbury would be seen as too far away for reception entry as such, as would Brookfield.

This is the third year that Ashmount is over subscribed and so actually has a radius of admission. Before then despite being a "good" school and with excellent feed back from parents whose children attended the school was underscribed, with vacant places. It was when, after many years rather convoluted gestation, the decision to build a new building for the school, and thence move the school there was finally confirmed that the undersubscription stopped. I imagine this is due to a combination of the publicity associated with the new building, combined with the way parents were put off by the old building.

So things can change, and change quite suddenly. So far as Ashmount is concerned it would be useful to know how many places were filled by siblings. I say this partly because that fluctuates in all schools from year to year, partly that families moving into the general area, say during the school year with children for year three and above (this year) have been able to get places for their older child(ren) in Ashmount at once, and of course this has created a sibling entitlement.

In my view what really happens here over the next few years depends on how mobile people are. There are a LOT of young families in Crouch End. But if people do not move, their families will be complete, and in due course there will be lots of teenagers but it would not surprise me if in five years time - say - we are back to a situation were there is an over supply of places.

nlondondad Wed 08-May-13 22:40:50

There is also the point that we have only had the first round of offers issued. After Islington admissions know how many acceptances there are, they will be re offering the places that have been declined and that will alter the picture.

nlondondad Sat 11-May-13 11:25:57

In the meantime it would seem that the answer to the question in the title of this thread "Is there a shortage etc?" is...


or am I wrong?

sammisatt Sat 11-May-13 19:17:29

I'm wondering how it is for people in the Milton park/Claremont road area now Ashmount had moved. I imagine that is now a bit of a black hole.

nlondondad Sun 12-May-13 19:15:22

Yes I suppose that is possible, unless they can still get in to Highgate Primary. Anyway if there are people in that area having problems this year they do not seem to be on Mumsnet..

nlondondad Mon 13-May-13 22:16:28

Islington have announced that having gone through the first round of offers of school places, they reckon they need 80 more places in the whole Borough, mostly in the south of the Borough and so not relevant to this discussion BUT

They are adding 15 places to reception in Hargrave Park School which is local to Archway. So thats 15 extra starting this autumn.

jakecat Tue 14-May-13 12:31:00

Do you know how Islington plans to deal with those 80 children? Is it likely that places will open up for them by September?

How does allocating an extra 15 places at a one form entry school work in practice? Surely that's an indication that there's also a shortage at the North end of the borough too?

Sorry - lots of questions and each year is different anyway but trying to figure out how things might pan out in this area

Farewelltoarms Tue 14-May-13 13:42:09

Where did you hear about the 80s places NLondon? There was a national map of primary school shortages and it seemed as though Islington was one of the better areas in the country. Do you know where in South Islington there are shortages?
A high proportion of parents in South Islington go private but also apply to state schools. I could name half a dozen a year who apply to my dc's school but don't end up going so if that's replicated in other schools, then that would add up to 80 pretty quick...

nlondondad Tue 14-May-13 15:13:36


Yes the 80 places are to start this September.

The way it works is this. People had to apply earlier in the year for a place, and they could apply for up to six schools in order of their preference. The Pan London admissions system was then run and people were given (on the 17 April) the highest preference for which they were eligible, that is, only one offer.

Islington, like the other boroughs is now awaiting replies to offers, they know that not all the places offered will be taken up. Last year everyone looking for a place in Islington got one, but some people did not find out until later, they did not get an offer on the first round, but they did later, when places turned down on the first round were re offered.

This year Islington can see that the number of applications for places in Islington is up, so what they have done is agreed with a number of schools to increase the number they will take in, and these places will be offered on the second round, together with all the other vacant places caused by people not taking up offers. The process is automatic and requires no action by applicants, it just means that there will be a number of people on wait lists for popular schools who will now get a second round offer, who would not have done before.

nlondondad Tue 14-May-13 15:38:21


The background is that until last year Islington had a problem with falling rolls leading to vacant places in schools. As part of managing this (and they were under a LOT of pressure from the Government to do so) they actually closed some schools, and merged others, but what they did mostly is reduce the intake to various schools. So most three form entry schools went down from three (taking in 90) to two, taking in sixty. And a number of schools went down from two form to one form, and from two form to one and a half form (45)

Last year, for the first time in over a decade the schools filled, with enough places for everyone.

This year they can see from the first round (ie from ACTUAL demand, not forecasts of demand) that about another 80 places are needed, so they have created these by allowing schools all of which were bigger in the past, and so have space to spare, to take some more children - 80 for the whole Borough which is actually less than a three form primary.

These have mostly been created in schools to the South of the Borough, but as I said 15 have been created at Hargrave Park which used to be a two form entry school and is currently just one, which is in the North of the Borough close to Archway. The schools they chose to expand were all good, oversubscribed, had the physical space to expand, and agreed to do it. Actually its not really expansion but reinstatement.

You are right about people applying to Independent schools as well, and I imagine Islington Officers will have crossed fingers hoping they have not created too many places...

Farewelltoarms Tue 14-May-13 16:13:23

Really interesting thanks NLondondad for this explanation. Why do you think there were falling rolls before? Some sort of flight to the suburbs? Certainly in my children's South Islington primary there used to be less than 30 per class, dwindling to merging the two classes into one by y6. Now chocker. People seem less inclined to move out to more spacious areas, plus the secondaries have improved so much there's no longer that desperate lemming like leap to Fortismere etc.
From what you say, only schools with room will be expanding, which is good because they really couldn't fit another class into our pretty-cramped school.

Farewelltoarms Tue 14-May-13 16:13:46

By the way, I've never understood how 45-intakes work...

jakecat Tue 14-May-13 16:34:19

Thanks NLondon. I understand about the application process and how offers are made. What I am struggling with is how the scenario unfolds when you live outside the catchment area for any school because all the local schools in the area are oversubscribed. Now that Ashmount has moved we are equidistant to about four schools (one of which is religious) and seemingly outside the catchment for all of them

GreenEggsAndNaiceHam Tue 14-May-13 17:08:01

Interesting and possibly worrying. Does anyone know if the "new" Islington school places will go to the next lot of children on the waiting list, or only if those children live in Islington?

Any idea of what schools will have extra places. I have heard a rumour that tuffnel park is one of them , but that is only a rumour.

nlondondad Tue 14-May-13 20:26:26

Green, can you say what is worrying (then perhaps I can relieve the worry...or perhaps not, as the case may be)I will post up the full list later, but I can say that Tufnell Park are going to take an extra five pupils. The extra places get re offered on the second round with all the other places vacant because they have been declined on the first round. Borough boundaries are irrelevant (not taken into account)

More later after I have eaten... and had some wine

GreenEggsAndNaiceHam Wed 15-May-13 13:27:32

I was worried that maybe only Islington families would get the extra places, and we are a camden family.

We have moved up 9 places on the TP list but I am not sure if that was before or after the extra 5 pupils were taken.

I had no idea that Islington had been loosing primary places, only that Camden never seem to have enough.

Thanks nlondondad, and hope you enjoyed your dinner wine

GreenEggsAndNaiceHam Wed 15-May-13 14:25:05

Phoned Islington admissions who tell me that the additional places have already been given to children. They also said that children who had been taken off waiting lists before the announcement are now being added back on to them ( at parental request).

nlondondad Wed 15-May-13 16:51:02

Here is the promised detailed figures

1. Ambler 30
2. Grafton 30
3. Hargrave Park 15
4. Tufnell Park 5

GreenEggsAndNaiceHam Wed 15-May-13 19:37:30

Thanks nlondondad.

daisymaybe Wed 15-May-13 21:11:13

Where are Grafton going to put them?? They're already operating at full two form entry no?

nlondondad Wed 15-May-13 22:43:41

They are a two form entry at the moment, so they will be going up to three form -at least for this year.

As for how they will manage this, the general point is that they have agreed to do this, so they must be ok with this and know how they are going to do it. It is quite possible that in the past they were a three form entry and reduced in size due to falling rolls. I dont know that for certain but think it likely.

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