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Opinion needed on Harris Primary Academy Kenley (formerly Roke) and on Sanderstead Primary Schools Waiting Lists

(14 Posts)
Myriam35690 Fri 18-Apr-14 20:59:26

Dreaded primary school application results for DS2 arrived with the disappointing news that he has not been offered a place at our 3 local schools: Atwood, Gresham, Ridgeway. Instead he has been offered a place at Harris Primary Academy Kenley. Although this is crow fly the nearest school to us, we had not considered it for a number of reasons:

- DS1 attended Atwood where he has received an excellent education (will be attending one of the Sutton grammars in September);

- Kenley is on the other side of the A22 for us and thus more difficult to get to than the schools I listed in Sanderstead (particularly with DH daily commute and mine!).

- Frankly "put off" by the demise of Roke and the Harris takeover, which we have been following in local newspapers over the last few years.

Apologies in advance for all the questions I am about to fire but whilst we are going on the waiting lists for our preferred schools, we now have to seriously consider DS2 attending Harris Kenley in September.

Has anyone got any first hand experience of the school that they would like to share? I have read all the threads around the Harris takeover - I am more interested in what's happened to the school under Harris' control (or any of the other Harris primary academies). How effective have they been so far? Have the parents noticed any difference? Is there still a high turnover of staff and have those that have replaced the 66% or so that left of a suitable calibre / experience? How are the children doing? Are those more able suitably stretched? Any insight on outlook for this year's SATS results? Checked the school website hoping to gather more insight for instance on curriculum but same high level generic info is posted across all of their primary websites!

Would also appreciate any insight on the waiting list movement likelihood for Atwood / Gresham for Mitchley Avenue side of Riddlesdown. Still shocked we did not get the schools first round - guess the demographics had a bigger impact on allocation of places from when we last went through this process with DS1! I tried to locate last year´s admissions results map on Croydon Council website without success.

Many thanks!

WalkingThePlank Wed 23-Apr-14 21:03:17

Hi Myriam,

Sorry that you didn't get the place that you wanted. You may get more of an answer is you post it on the admissions tread on Mumsnet Croydon: local.mumsnet.com/Talk/local_croydon/2053640-April-16th-National-Offer-Day-for-Primary-School-Places

Or perhaps start your own thread on Mumsnet Croydon: local.mumsnet.com/Talk/croydon/local-active

tiggytape Thu 24-Apr-14 10:09:44

I can't help on the school allocated but have found the data for 2013 and 2012 for you.
It shows a huge variation at some of those schools perhaps indicating a larger year group for 2012 or a lot of siblings in 2012? I would guess therefore that anyone relying on last year's figures may have been disappointed if the 2014 intake is more like the 2012 one in terms of numebrs and siblings and therefore final distances involved.

Atwood - 60 places - last distance offered in 2013 = 0.794 miles (but it was 0.444 miles in 2012)

Gresham - 30 places - last distance offered in 2013 = 0.881 miles (but it was 0.464 miles in 2012)

Ridgeway - 90 places - last distance offered in 2013 = 0.629 miles (but it was 0.565 miles in 2012)

If you would like this year's figures, you can email the council and ask for them. I cannot find this year's figures online but it is probably far too soon for them to be published.

Seeline Thu 24-Apr-14 15:20:59

I thought both Atwood and Gresham took an additional class last year, which would explain the increased distances in 2013 c0mpared to 2012, but figures ^^ indicate 2 and 1 form intakes still confused Ridgeway has been 3 form intake for a long time so hasn't increased, but the additional spaces in the other two schools has pushed the Ridgeway catchment further down the hill towards the Brighton Road, again indicated by the small increase in catchment distance.
I have a friends with kids who have gone through the transition at Roke. They were very happy with the school before it became an academy. However, I haven't heard anything bad from them since the transition.

tiggytape Thu 24-Apr-14 16:19:37

Seeline - the figures I got only quoted the official capacity for each school and had no scope to show any annual variations. Your explanation makes a lot of sense - if some extra classes were added for one year only, it explains how the distances were dramatically smaller in 2012.

WalkingThePlank Thu 24-Apr-14 21:18:40

There were no extra classes at Gresham and Atwood in recent years. The small catchments in 2011 were due to the bulge classrooms of 2009. Those extra (first born) pupils had siblings in 2011 and 2012 with it finally getting back to normal last year e.g. in 2011 there were only 3 non sibling places.

AngelEyes46 Thu 24-Apr-14 22:09:45

I know the HT quite well and she is very dedicated and visionary. She is also very independent with her views so may very well introduce other initiatives.

Why did your DS2 not get into Atwood if DS1 is still there?

tiggytape Thu 24-Apr-14 22:12:58

A sibling doesn't count if they are in Year 6 because they won't be there when the new child starts school in September.

Myriam35690 Fri 25-Apr-14 07:50:26

Thank you all for the information provided. Tiggytape - you are right we are missing on a sibbling place because DS1 will have left by September. I looked at the distance to school provided for 2013 - we would have been OK then for Gresham; slightly over for Atwood. Clearly 2007 must have been an exceptionally low year for DS1 to get in without a sibbling!

AngelEyes46 and Seeline - thank you for your feedback on Harris, which is good to hear as we don't know any parents with children there. Have had time to rationalise things a bit - obviously would prefer DS to join a school consistently rated as outstanding but at least he will be joining Harris after the transition and the only way is up with a visionary leader at the helm wink ! DH and I have been scooting the approaches to the school trying to work out the logistics of the drop-off/pick-up and DS is very excited about HIS new big school, which is encouraging.

tiggytape Fri 25-Apr-14 08:38:57

Yes - 2007 was a low intake year compared to how things stand now.
At the time however 2007 was considered a slightly larger year group but only because the 2005 and 2006 were so small.
From 2012 onwards, the size of the intakes has rocketed and is expected to keep going up year on year.

I am glad DS is looking forward to his new school. You never know, you may still get a waiting list place at one of the other 3 but it is also good to be reconciled with the allocated school too as these things aren't very predictable.

WalkingThePlank Fri 25-Apr-14 11:38:19

Just noticed my phone didn't send the whole of my message!

There were just 3 non-sibling places at Gresham in 2011.

Great that your DS is happy anyway. Do you know where you are on the waiting lists?

Myriam35690 Wed 21-May-14 06:26:59

Apologies - it has taken me ages to respond. Still no news on waiting lists. When I last phoned Council, I was told they'd have finished processing all parents' responses around now and would then be able to advise on position. I checked with Atwood but they have had no rejections. Frankly not overly "bothered" anymore since I met some HPK parents, visited the school and met the HM. Very experienced lady, buoyant about children and school prospects, which was very re-assuring to hear. Lovely little school set-up inside; drawback is still the location for me with less "green" outside space than Atwood for instance - but still perfectly adequate in comparison to other schools.

Aberdeen2london Fri 05-Sep-14 01:13:51

Relocating from Aberdeen to London....such a big change.....shocked to know children in England not necessarily get the catchment school....which is contrary to the rule here.....anyways.....catchment and convenient school would be Beaumont.....but they have confirmed a "NO".....contacted all good schools to whyteleaf.....but they do not have any place either......contacted Harris primary Kenley.....and they have called for a meeting.....next week.....but still not sure if I am doing the right thing.......as the schools have already started in England this week....could you all advise more on Harris primary Kenley.......Myriam35690.....what has been your experience so far.....could you please spare some time and reply.....thanks......

Bluestocking2015 Thu 09-Jul-15 21:49:44

Harris Primary Academy Kenley has been awarded an "Outstanding" rating in every category in their June 2015 Ofsted Inspection. Very impressed by this school, my child has gained so much and is very happy there.

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