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St. Albans primary schools/ King Harry Park

(13 Posts)
Teresa83 Sun 26-Jan-14 15:24:39

Hi there, we're looking to move to King Harry park in St. Albans. I'm just wondering what the best primary schools are In the area apart from Prae Wood?

ConcreteElephant Mon 27-Jan-14 12:57:52

Not very helpful I know but despite all the new builds at King Harry Park, Herts LEA are proposing to reduce the PAN at Prae Wood from 45 to 30. I don't know why or if this is at all controversial but from the outside it looks odd. We don't live at that end of town but if I did I might be concerned about getting a reception child in once that happens. Certainly in the first few years as you get siblings of 45 going for 30 places! I'm not sure there is a lot of choice around there - some friends and I were wondering what the alternatives were the other day.

Sorry, totally unhelpful but perhaps good to know? If you didn't already at least! Hopefully someone with better inside knowledge will come and shed some light on your query.

ConcreteElephant Mon 27-Jan-14 12:58:48

Of course you might be saying 'apart from Prae Wood' because you've already decided against it - in which case ignore me!

ConcreteElephant Mon 27-Jan-14 13:04:21

More helpful - Herts Nearest School Finder

Wigeon Mon 27-Jan-14 13:05:27

Most schools in St Albans are massively over subscribed, so you might find that there is only one school you can get a place at. You can find the data for the last few years on how close you needed to live in order to get into any particular Herts school. I'll post a link when not on phone.

ConcreteElephant Mon 27-Jan-14 13:18:15

Wigeon's link

And Wigeon is right about many of the schools being oversubscribed. The new Free School in the centre is taking a bit of pressure off some of the nearby schools (if parents like that kind of approach) and there are some highly regarded, larger PAN schools in Bernard's Heath and Marshalswick (Wheatfields). There are only a couple of schools I'd avoid but this is on hearsay, not experience!

littlebluedog12 Mon 27-Jan-14 13:34:40

Off the top of my head you would be close to Killigrew, Mandeville and (possibly) St Michaels or the Abbey school. I have friends with children at all of these, all are very happy. Tbh St Albans is great for primary schools.

Teresa83 Mon 27-Jan-14 19:38:55

Thanks all - that's so helpful! Concrete elephant, I didn't know that about places, so thanks. All so overwhelming moving to a new place and not knowing anything about the area! Good to know there are people In the know who have words of advice :-)

Wigeon Mon 27-Jan-14 21:25:56

Thanks ConcreteElephant for doing the link! OP - you may be quite near Abbey School etc, but for sone of these schools you have to live practically on the doorstep, so it's essential you check how far the furthest person who got a place lived, fir the past ccouple of years. Also, Herts changed the way they measure distance from walking route to straight line (think the change was in about 2011, maybe), so you don't even have very many years data to go on.

Wigeon Mon 27-Jan-14 21:35:28

In ConcreteElephant's link, you need to click the link on the left to each year, then "starting primary", then choose the "outturn report", then look at what the distance under rule 5 or rule 6 was (rule 5 is children for who the school is their nearest school, with distance being used as a tie-breaker; and rule 6 is children for whom it's not their nearest school, with distance being a tie-breaker. Popular schools don't admit anyone under rule 6, and quite often even if it's your nearest school, you won't get a place).

This is assuming that you'd be applying under the distance criteria, rather than the other criteria (children looked after, children with some kind of statement which says that it's necessary they go to a named school, siblings, faith criteria for faith schools).

Abbey and St Michael's data doesn't appear in those outturn tables though, because they are both faith schools (C of E) and run their own admissions (because they admit under faith rules, like attendance at church etc). But you can get the data about how many children they admitted under each rule by contacting those schools individually.

Wigeon Mon 27-Jan-14 21:39:54

Oh, look, Abbey put their admissions data on their website: here. So basically, you have to live v v close to the school (within their defined catchment, which is very unusual for Herts schools), or be a regular attender at the Abbey cathedral, or, preferably, both.

I think my point is that you can't just find a list of what schools are vaguely nearby the King Harry development and pick which one you want - you have to research pretty carefully which you might stand a chance of getting a place at, and not waste your choices on the admissions application form on schools which you have almost zero chance of getting a place at.

Teresa83 Tue 28-Jan-14 12:38:16

Thank you wigeon! So helpful :-)

Wigeon Wed 29-Jan-14 20:38:34

No problem smile!

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