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Where online can I find out what a london primary school's catchment area is?

(10 Posts)
oilandwater Mon 14-Sep-09 19:07:10

thank you!

Rebeccaj Mon 14-Sep-09 19:11:22

Most schools don't have catchments as such any more; admittance is on distance from school, with closest getting in first, then outwards. So distance could change year on year. Schools will often tell you how far the furthest out child admitted that year lived though, to give you a guide.

The borough website should have details -I would start there.

CybilLiberty Mon 14-Sep-09 19:13:35

I think all my school tells prospective parents is what road the 'furthest away child' got into the school from.

The boundary changes dependent on siblings, special needs children etc so I don't think a catchment is really used anymore

ramonaquimby Mon 14-Sep-09 19:17:34

I'd give the LEA admissions office a call - they can go back year on year and give you a good idea of numbers admitted, streets to avoid, etc etc.

mimsum Mon 14-Sep-09 19:29:17

it depends where you are - our borough has a few schools which have a 'priority area' - these can be quite a strange shape - sometimes kids whose families live literally a stone's throw away from the school are out of area, whereas streets nearly a mile away are in

mom101 Mon 14-Sep-09 20:15:50

Good question I need this information as well as i am in the process of buying a house. the www.goodschoolsguide.co.uk HAS all of this information for a monthly fee of £10 or a yearly fee of £35.

I understand the website holds more information than the book.

Good Luck

fiercebadrabbit Mon 14-Sep-09 20:40:05

I don't see how the good schools guide or any website can have all the info - as others say catchments vary from year to year, depending on how many siblings and SN children are taking places. Then add in the credit crunch which has made demand for places at decent schools way higher than previously.

For example, last year my dcs' school which is lovely and Ofsted "good with outstanding features" had a catchment that was basically open ended as we live in a wealthy area where many children go private. Everyone who applied got in.

This year, the child farthest away (without a sibling) to get in was 300m. Tons of people were left without any school place at all.I believe some LEAs do operate "fixed" catchments but they're an exception.

So be very careful about buying a house on the basis of it being in a "catchment". For a popular school, unless you are virtually opposite the school gates you may still get squeezed out.

singersgirl Mon 14-Sep-09 20:45:03

'Catchment' for our school varies, as everyone has said, year on year, depending on number of applicants, distance from school, children with siblings already in the school and statemented children. One year there were 3 sets of twins within a stone's throw from the school and nearly 30 sibling places, leaving only about 12 places for other new starters.

Elibean Mon 14-Sep-09 21:39:54

ditto fiercebadrabbit. dd's school was easy to get into a year ago, and lots of children ended up with places there who applied to schools far nearer to their homes. This year, due to more siblings and more demand generally, their cut-off was a few hundred metres.

(you're not in SW are you, badrabbit?!)

Tambajam Mon 14-Sep-09 21:44:56

Don't waste money on a book or website. When you have a school in mind call the primary admissions officer for the LEA and ask what the catchment areas in previous years have been. They can vary quite widely depending on numbers of siblings etc as PPs have said. Or if you are interested in particular LEAs get their primary admission booklets (they are usually PDFs online) and they contain tables of last year's admissions by distance.
Estate agents are still talking about 'catchment areas' round here which is very naughty because it gives a very misleading impression.

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