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Good inner London state primaries

(21 Posts)
Mrsfrumble Tue 14-Jun-16 17:52:56

That's "good" as in Ofsted good, as opposed to "outstanding". With the usual inner city school challenges (higher than average number of pupils with ESL etc). Is your child at one? How is it?

We're moving back to London with a 5 year old in tow this summer. I spoke to our future borough council this morning and it seems there year 1 spaces available, but probably not at any of the "outstanding" schools. How important is Ofsted anyway? I'm conscious that we won't be back in time to visit schools before term ends, and I don't know how else to get any "inside information" on the schools we might be offered places at.

Please be gentle. I know these might be stupid questions!

Cleo1303 Tue 14-Jun-16 20:11:45

Hi Mrsfrumble, You'll get more replies and information if you tell us which borough you will be moving to. You might want to ask the mumsnet team to change the thread title to include it.

Mrsfrumble Tue 14-Jun-16 20:28:59

Thanks Cleo! We'll be in Islington. More specifically Highbury.

I've spent all day researching. I know for certain that St John's Highbury Vale has no places, but Highbury Quadrant does. I'm going to call the council again tomorrow to ask about Canonbury, Laycock and Drayton Park. I'm guessing that William Tyndale will be full.

I wish they'd just publish a list of available spaces!

Does anyone have experience of St Mary Magdelene Academy?

BobsYourAuntiesLiveInLover Tue 14-Jun-16 20:39:34

I personally wouldn't worry too much about Ofsted - lots of Islington primaries are overdue their inspections by more than 12 months. Check their results as several of the good primaries are performing at an outstanding level. Most Islington primaries are very good.

St MM is an excellent school, but places are difficult to come by. Most of their pupils go on to the attached secondary school, which is very difficult to get in to otherwise.

Andcake Tue 14-Jun-16 20:47:34

Recently left the area -Highbury quadrant is ok ...Drayton park struggles...and have heard of unhappy parents

BobsYourAuntiesLiveInLover Tue 14-Jun-16 21:09:10

I agree with AndCake's thoughts.

Have you considered Ambler? It's often overshadowed by Gillespie and St John's of HV but it's a lovely school.

Mrsfrumble Tue 14-Jun-16 21:15:19

Hi Bob. I hadn't, but I'm not ruling anywhere out. I'll add to my list to ask about tomorrow.

Does anyone know how much distance counts for in year admissions?

Cleo1303 Tue 14-Jun-16 23:10:04

Glad you are getting some help here! Not my area so I can't contribute, but it sounds as though there are a number of good schools.

Blu Tue 14-Jun-16 23:26:33

MrsFrumble:
All waiting lists are held in order of the published admissions criteria. So distance counts, if it is one of the criteria (it usually is!).
You can move up and down waiting lists for that reason. And in London places can become available and be filled within a week, so there isn't really such a thing as a list of available places, unless it was updated daily!
Go on waiting lists for all schools you like the look of, irrespective of Ofsted category.
It is highly likely that places will become available in the summer hols as other families choose that time to move house., but won't relinquish their place until the removal van is packed. In fact some families forget to tell the school and places become available in the first couple of weeks of term when children have simply failed to return!

Good luck!

Mrsfrumble Wed 15-Jun-16 01:53:56

Thanks Blu.

This is the by far the most stressful part of the move (and the move itself is pretty bloody stressful!).

It looks as if the flat we'll be living in when we arrive in the country is close enough to Canonbury, Laycock and Highbury Quadrant, and in the right parish for St John's HV. Can DS be on the waiting list for more than one school? So, for example, could we accept a place at Highbury Quadrant and be on the list for St John's and Canonbury? We have to apply to each school separately through the Islington website, but there doesn't seem to be a limit to the number of schools we can apply to.

Does applying to a school, even if it has no places, automatically get you on the waiting list if you meet the admission criteria?

Apologies again if these are silly questions. I swear I've read the information on the council website and on the website for each school but I think my anxiety is affecting my brain function because I'm still really confused! Thank you all for your kind and patient answers flowers

Paperm0ver Wed 15-Jun-16 10:41:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Vinorosso74 Wed 15-Jun-16 19:00:49

I know of people with children at Laycock and they are happy with it. I believe Canonbury is well regarded bit don't know much else. We looked around Drayton Park, it was ok. After reception all classes are mixed years Y1/2, Y3/4, Y5/6.
I would get on waiting lists for any you are interested in as there is a lot of movement in Islington primaries.

Paperm0ver Wed 15-Jun-16 22:48:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

What1984 Wed 15-Jun-16 22:54:38

I agree about waiting list movement for year 1.

There will even children in reception now where the parents dont know that by the end of the summer they will have moved! And places certainly do come up in the first few weeks of the autumn term.

Mrsfrumble Thu 16-Jun-16 00:13:44

Thank you everyone for this helpful information!

The person I spoke to at Islington Council did advise waiting until late July to apply. I can see the sense in that, but also leaving it so late scares the hell out of me! We haven't booked our flights yet, but we're planning to arrive in the UK the second week of August so I'm conscious that we'll only have a few weeks in London before term starts. Generally I'm a "fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants" sort of person rather than an organized planner, but I feel like I owe it to DS to at least be able to tell him where he'll be going to school. Looks like I'll be winging it again... I'll have nerves of steel by the time it comes to school applications for his little sister next year.

It's very useful to know about being able to apply in other boroughs. There are a couple of primaries in the Newington Green area which will be closer to us than the ones in far north Islington.

Blu Thu 16-Jun-16 00:42:30

I THINK you have to actually be here, with an address, to apply , don't you? Check this, because if this is the case you would be as well to arrive as early as possible .

I don't see any sense in waiting before putting your name down . Places could come up at any minute . It won't go to you unless you are on the list!

Something will come up. The London population is highly mobile. And it is the council's obligation to make sure your child does have a school place. Not the school place if your dreams , but a place.

Mrsfrumble Thu 16-Jun-16 02:05:37

We have a London address, and a council tax reference isn't needed for in-year applications like it is for applying for Reception places in January. I explained to the council that we were currently overseas and wouldn't be in the country until August, and was still told to apply in July, so I guess that's fine. We can't really come back any earlier as there's too much to do at this end, both in packing up and for DH at work.

I need to call them again before I start doing the applications forms to make sure I've understood everything correctly. I have issues with that, as you can see.

Paperm0ver Thu 16-Jun-16 08:54:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Blu Thu 16-Jun-16 09:02:45

Oh, yes , I see about being offered and accepting a place now. So applying 2 days before the start of the summer hold start would work...

How do schools manage their own places / waiting lists over the summer? Staff are usually on holiday too? I would check this with the LA.

JeffreySadsacIsUnwell Thu 16-Jun-16 12:42:30

Check the policy carefully. We are moving house; in-year applications submitted before summer half-term required the place to be taken up within 4 weeks (20 school days) but after half-term, in-year applications for a Sept start were allowed (which is what we've done, exchanged already but delayed completion until the summer hols, so applied for, been offered and accepted a place for September). However, it may change according to authority.

Mrsfrumble Thu 16-Jun-16 14:08:02

Yes, that was the reason the person I spoke to at the council gave me for waiting; that if we applied before the end of term we could potentially be offered an immeadiate place which we wouldn't be able to accept, not being in the country. I don't know how it works with schools being closed over the summer though.

Thanks to you lovely folks I have a much clearer understanding of the questions I need to ask LA.

Jeffrey that sounds good. You must be relieved!

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