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Crouch End primary schools - reception - opinions really appreciated

(6 Posts)
maidename Sun 23-Nov-14 01:56:56

I have just moved back from a few years abroad and into the thick of it as my son will be starting school next year which means an application deadline on 15th of January. I am in the process of visiting schools but not having ever had to deal with schools and not having lived locally and therefore have a local network I am quite in the dark. It is difficult to gauge from a quick tour of the school.
To say I am confused with the whole process would be an understatement but from what I have read I could have a chance of getting into three schools or even a new fourth free school depending on catchment and/or movement on waiting lists.
Can anyone please confirm if the published last distance offered is from the first round of offers or after waiting list adjustments? I have read conflicting information on this and a call to the council did nothing to help that as she first said it was after the waiting list adjustment but then could not answer at what point this was as I guess the adjustments are ongoing. This information would really help me have an idea of what result I could hope for.
Obviously I have read as much as I can but most of the posts are a few years old so please anyone with kids in the schools or knowledge of them please fill me in with some pros and cons. Lots of good PR for Coleridge but is there any reason why it might not be that attractive a choice? What does it offer that the others don't? What are the reasons to choose Rokesly or Ashmount instead? I read somewhere that Rokesly had gone down. Was this the reason for the large catchment last year?

Please please help enlighten me.

nlondondad Sun 23-Nov-14 17:51:13

The distance published by the Council is (as standardised across all London councils) the furthest distance away, a child offered on the distance criteria was offered, on OFFER DAY.

Following offer day, as more places become available, they are offered down the waiting lists and this process continues over the summer right up, in fact, until the first week of the autumn term in September. (As they are always a few "no shows" in the first couple of days)

Thus in any year the published distance will always tend to be less than the final distance. Its only a rough guide. Especially as the distance of the last offered on offer day does indeed, vary from year to year. Does that help?

nlondondad Sun 23-Nov-14 18:18:17

I should also mention a particular feature of how Haringey works which is different from how Islington works - I mention that as you may have friends/neighbours in Islington.

You have one application form which allows you to indicate up to six preferences for schools. Haringey, like all London boroughs is legally obliged to PROVIDE a place for all reception age children resident in the borough.

Haringey carry out this duty on offer day, by offering you a place at the highest of the preferences you have indicated (six if you are wise). if they cannot offer you a place at one of your six preferences they will offer you - (it is called "allocating" actually rather than offering) - They will "allocate" you to the school in Haringey, nearest to you, with a place.

This is why last year there were reports of some people in Muswell Hill in distress as the council had offered them places on offer day which were in Tottenham, two bus rides away. However they were still eligible for waiting list offers for schools in Muswell Hill, and also an extra class was created by Haringey at St Mary's Hornsey, so the people initially offered places a long way away by the end of the summer had places much closer, often one of their original six in Muswell Hill, and others got one of the extra places in St Mary's.

nlondondad Sun 23-Nov-14 19:20:10

A final comment before leaving it to others to get a word in edgeways.

The three schools you mention Coleridge, Ashmount and Rokesely are all good schools, and each has its loyal supporters on Mumsnet. They are different in tpe in the sense that:

1. Coleridge is four form entry which makes it large. There are advantages to scale, and Coleridge has a lot of satisfied parents, some parents do prefer a smaller school.

2. Ashmount, having moved, is only a few minutes from Coleridge along the Parkland Walk, and is a two form entry school.

So in terms of size anyway a claer choice, some go one way, some the other.

3.Rokesely is a three form entry school so mid way in size between Coleridge and Ashmount. It is orhanised as an infants school and as a seperate, junior school.

So each school represents a different solution to the problem of how to organise a good school, and each suceeds in its own terms.

SO.

Visit the three schools. Decide what it feels like for you, what you think of the Head?

maidename Mon 24-Nov-14 20:56:25

Wow thank you so much nlondon dad for taking the time out to reply so thoroughly. I know it is hard to judge by others opinions anyway as it depends on me and my child but it is such a big decision which will have such a huge influence on my childs life that I find it very overwhelming. I am going to see Ashmount tomorrow but from a sneak view the building and surroundings look good. I am very big on children being surrounded by green/nature which Coleridge has as well but not Rokesly. However I have found out that the initial distances given to me by the estate agents were a bit stretched so I am probably not even in the catchment for Ashmount and Coleridge but only Rokesly. So I guess the decision will be made for me in the end.

On another note now that I have joined the school place madness I find it an incredible unfair and inefficient system. I can't believe it is allowed to continue. In Crouch End some people will now be able to pick and choose between four schools and others none. People cannot go to their nearest schools despite their taxes going to pay for children in those schools because they are not of a certain faith? Can this really be true in a modern developed country? I guess it has not changed because people only realise how bad it is when they are in the situation and forget about it once they pass that hurdle!

nlondondad Tue 25-Nov-14 11:24:21

@maidename

Actually I was afraid my response might be too verbose; after all some people read Mumsnet on their mobile phones...so shorter always better. In any case it was easy to write as the basic principles do not change from year to year. But as you rightly put it, each year there is a new generation of parents for whom the system as it actually "works" comes as a bit of a shock. The underlying problem is that for years politicians of all parties have talked about "parental choice" but they never fund it. What you are enabled to do by the current system is "express a preference" which tends to give the illusion of choice but actually for most people there is very little or none. They qualify for one school and thats it. Especially true for people who live in rural areas, of course, but for the majority of people in London also the case.

As it happens if you live on Hazelmere Road off Crouch End Hill then you will certainly have a choice between Ashmount and Coleridge as you (Parkland Walk intervening) live beside both schools.

As to faith schools, well actually I disapprove of their existence, but I can see that actually closing them down ( that is REPLACING them with secular schools) difficult. Especially while the Church of England is still the State Church. But I do regard the state paid for creation of NEW faith schools under the Academy and Free School program as bonkers and wrong. But then, we are where we are....

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