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Finding a primary school in Islington

(14 Posts)
Harrysian1 Mon 09-Jan-17 23:03:02

Hi, I'm looking for some advice. We're moving to London, to the Islington area in the summer. My oldest son will be starting school in September. Can you please tell me which are the best state schools and best independents? I think we'll have to send him privately as we're going to be too late for the state selection criteria.
I appreciate your help.

Terentia Tue 10-Jan-17 22:06:24

Do you know where in Islington you are moving to?

There's a lot of movement in the borough so it may well be possible to get a place at a good state school at the start of the school year, depending on where you move to.

Also you mention selection criteria. Were you thinking of faith schools? Otherwise the main criteria is distance from the school.

Terentia Tue 10-Jan-17 22:20:19

Oh and when you say "best" do you mean in terms of academics, or a more general rating?

albertcampionscat Tue 10-Jan-17 22:23:02

Islington has very good state primaries, and a lot are still undersubscribed because the population shrank for so long before rebounding. With that plus the moving about I'd have thought you would be okay applying in year.

LarkDescending Wed 11-Jan-17 07:43:20

For independent, you might want to consider The Children's House, which has a good reputation locally.

For state primary you are very much dependent on precise location in the borough. The most popular, sought-after and heavily oversubscribed schools in central Islington and Highbury include Hanover & William Tyndale (both community schools), St John Highbury Vale (C of E), St Joan of Arc (Roman Catholic). Then heading towards Stoke Newington there are schools like Grasmere and Betty Layward, which locals love but you need to live on the doorstep to get in.

None of which will be at all relevant if you will be living in Clerkenwell or Hornsey! As has been said there are many good state primaries and not all are oversubscribed by any means. You can search online by postcode or area to see what will be local to your address, with recent admissions data etc.

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Wed 11-Jan-17 07:45:47

The Tatler just named Canonbury primary school as one of the best state schools in the country. But you'd need to live on the doorstep to get in .

LarkDescending Wed 11-Jan-17 07:53:56

Also, centrally, there is St Mary Magdalene Academy (C of E), whose primary feeds into its very popular secondary school.

LarkDescending Wed 11-Jan-17 08:04:45

Yes Canonbury is very much up there too, isn't it. I hadn't seen the Tatler accolade smile

albertcampionscat Wed 11-Jan-17 11:48:32

Things change bloody fast too - Canonbury was in special measures not too long ago.

ClaireBlunderwood Wed 11-Jan-17 12:06:08

Loads of people in Islington apply for a state school place but are always intending to go private (and sometimes don't even bother telling the school, grr, am thinking of the two boys with pegs in reception who I knew never had any intention of taking the place). So even if you apply late, places will come up.

Plus Islington is very transient with people moving out of London or to different boroughs, especially with the benefit cap. What this means is that I think it's unlikely you won't be offered a very reasonable place as most of them are very good (my kids go to one that's graded RI but I think they're receiving an excellent education). I wouldn't get too hung up about going to one of the holy grail ones - William Tyndale, Yerbury etc - as Albert says things change very rapidly and they're almost all good IMO.

WhyOhWine Wed 11-Jan-17 12:21:03

Islington is not great for private schools. CHildrens House is good but only goes up to 7. Maybe look at Dallington, although it is more Clerkenwell and the class sizes in the upper years are very small which would not suit all 9/10/11 year olds. There are a couple of other small ones that get more mixed reviews but I dont know much about them.

generally, people either tend to head into the City for private (eg St Pauls Cathedral School or CHaterhouse Square), or do the rat run up to the Hamstead schools or Highgate. Plus some to Camden (eg Cavendish).

Some of the state schools are excellent, but "catchment" is small. There are always some that are undersubscribed so it will be possible to get in somewhere, although they will be the ones with the less good reputations (dont knwo if deserved). I think Islington council publishes a list of distances for recent years which should give you a feel (Hackney too if you are at the Stokey end). Generally, if you are moving to a house very close to a school (within the range for previous years), although you are unlikely to get it initially on a late application, a place is likely to come up because of private schools and movement.

CruCru Wed 11-Jan-17 16:54:37


I live in Islington. Independent schools it may be worth contacting are:

Rosemary Works
The Lyceum
Charterhouse Square
Gower (I know someone who was very happy with it, although there's a long thread criticising it on MN).

Someone upthread mentioned St Paul's Cathedral - they've just had their assessments for the September 2017 intake (they assess the first 70 children registered from birth). It's possible that a space will become available but unlikely.

There are lots of schools in Hampstead too - some are mixed, most seem to be single sex.

The state schools that people seem to want are William Tyndale or Canonbury. Here is a list of primary schools. Each includes cut off distance maps for the last three years - if there is a school that you particularly want, make sure you move to somewhere well within the cut off distance.

Friends send their children to one of the C of E / Catholic schools but as we don't regularly attend church, we had no chance of getting in.

Vinorosso74 Thu 12-Jan-17 11:04:24

Yes, I was going to ask whereabouts too?
Further north in the borough Grafton and Yerbury are the popular choices.
A lot of the schools are oversubscribed but there is a lot of movement, quite a few kids have moved in DDs class-she's only Y2.
I would apply for state schools you will get a place at one of them so at least you have a back up.

sqidsin Thu 12-Jan-17 11:26:55

Do you attend church regularly? If so, you could to jump to the top of the waiting list for one of the "highly regarded" church schools (e.g. In Highbury) as soon as you've moved.

Otherwise, your best bet is to move as close as possible to your chosen school i.e. Within about a 200 yard radius! Then you'd put yourself close to the top of waiting lists when places come up due to the movement mentioned by other posters.

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