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Primary schools in N. london- HELP!

(18 Posts)
Chabby Wed 02-Mar-16 15:18:24

Hi All,

We're finally ready to buy a house but are tying ourselves in knots trying to figure out where to buy, which schools are any good, how tiny their 'catchment' (but they don't have catchment areas) are etc etc.

We were thinking Crouch End or East Finchley/ Fortis Green, but I've just read a worrying post from someone who lives in Crouch End and didn't get any of her SIX options for primary schools and was offered a place in Wood Green!! That's got me really worried. We're about to spend every penny we have on a house, hopefully in a nice, safe area. We want our two daughters to go to state primary schools and private secondaries- without a nightmare journey for either. The eldest will be due to start in Sept 2017 so we need to move fairly quickly.

I've never lived in North London before and am still getting to know the various areas, never mind schools. The school checker on seems v inaccurate when you cross reference with the website.

Any ideas or helpful experiences welcome, however negative or positive!

Thanks in advance,


Cinnamon2013 Wed 02-Mar-16 15:29:14

Hi. I find clear and useful. Rightmove thing is practically useless in an area like this (I'm near to where you're looking) as catchments change so much and those kids could be quite old. Fwiw Wood Green is not the end of the world! A short hop on one bus from CE...

Cinnamon2013 Wed 02-Mar-16 15:29:47

More to say but on the hop. Good luck searching, all lovely areas to live in

outputgap Wed 02-Mar-16 15:33:22

I don't know much about those areas but Islington and Camden publish recent years' distances. Not sure if Haringey and is it Barnet also do, but worth a look I guess. The Rightmove thing is useless.

Paperm0ver Wed 02-Mar-16 17:36:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DelphiniumBlue Wed 02-Mar-16 17:47:59

Crouch end has an area which is not in catchment for any school, I think its the bit around Inderwick road but you'd need to check. I think there is a link on that thread you mentioned, but Haringey council could probably help. I'm using the term " catchment" loosely.
Anywhere in crouch end or muswell hill you'd need to live very near to a school to be sure of getting in. You can check the distances for the last few years. Not sure about east Finchley but its possibly the same.
On the other hand, several of the Haringey schools have recently expanded from 1 or 2 form entry to 3 form entry. That presumably means the pressure on places might have eased. I'd check the Haringey mn boards.

ag123 Wed 02-Mar-16 19:40:36

Here are the 2014 cut off distances for Haringey:
Only Bounds Green and St Mary's n8 are due to undergo any expansions which will potentially affect catchment areas, so worth paying close attention to the distances!

ag123 Wed 02-Mar-16 19:42:37

Btw I live pretty locally (now Bounds Green but previously Muswell Hill( and have taught locally so if there's anything specific I might possibly be able to help...

Chabby Wed 02-Mar-16 20:42:20

Thanks so much for all your replies.

I'll have a look at that site. Those Haringey distances are really useful.

I'm just wondering how people manage it if they have to get a bus or drive one child to school in rush hour, then and another to nursery or a childminder somewhere else, and then get to work... and pick them up again! Do people get before and after school nannies?
It's a mine field...!

Crouchendmumoftwo Wed 02-Mar-16 22:41:58

Hi there,

I work from home and walk the kids to school. Plenty of people drop kids off to childminders before work who take them to school if they cant drop off. Most parents drop off and then go to work. There are after school clubs too and childminders who do pick ups after schools. All the primary schools are good in the area.

MsJuniper Thu 03-Mar-16 07:23:23

Barnet catchment area maps are here - Brookland and Martin are in East Finchley & both fairly tough to get into.

writingonthewall Thu 03-Mar-16 15:37:26

Brooklands is in Hampstead Garden Suburb not E Finchley. I wouldn't imagine that there is much overlap between Martin and Brookland catchment.

Chabby Thu 03-Mar-16 21:46:50

Sorry, me again... does anyone know which schools you might get into if you live on the Rookfield estate between MH and CE?

Looks a bit too far from MH Primary and Tetherdown, but is quite far from Campsbourne and Rokesly too!


cgehansen Sat 05-Mar-16 08:48:44

You'd probably get a place at the expanded St Mary's if you were too far from the other options.

ag123 Sat 05-Mar-16 09:11:02

Is it really too far from MH primary? Have you done a distance check?

NWgirls Sat 05-Mar-16 11:48:17

Rather than sink a fortune into a house on a perhaps risky catchment "bet" (hope that there are few siblings that year), I suggest renting for a year first, then buy. You rent (and live in - nothing dodgy about this!) within spitting distance of a the gate of a great primary - with other aspects of the property being much less important. Make sure the tenancy covers the spring 2017 and read the small print to make sure how long you have to stay there.

Then take your time and (in 2017, you might have to buy after the summer, depending on rules) buy a property within walking distance of that school, as well as transport links - but with many more properties to choose from (bigger radius, more time), perhaps also more for your money, and less time pressure - so you can compare, negotiate (perhaps suffer being gazumped without it triggering a school panic) etc.

At the very least this can be a Plan B, if you don't exchange on a safe (central!) catchment property within the next few months.

Chabby Sun 06-Mar-16 21:09:49

Thanks all. Yes renting could be a plan B.
Or we'll just buy a house we love in an area we like and not get so obsessed over schools!
Will have a look at St Mary's. Thanks x

Cinnamon2013 Mon 07-Mar-16 08:37:12

Hi. Quick note that if you plan to rent as PP suggests, and you are thinking of having another kid, check out the changes in Haringey sibling admission rules. You wouldn't want to move too far away or younger DC might not get in.

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