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Nightmare discovery that we are in a catchment area black hole in North London

(7 Posts)
essexgirl26 Mon 17-Oct-11 12:24:26

I knew I wasn't in catchment for Fortismere but have just discovered I'm just outside Alexandra Park too. Did not visit The Compton as misled by Ofsted site that it was a) not local to me and b) when discovered it finally, found a big 'closed' sign next to it on the site!!!!! School will not let me visit although I am in catchment as open days finished. Daughter very bright but not sure has application yet for some of the high performing independents + I'd have to sell the farm to pay for it! Anyone know anything about the Compton School, got any advice or just want to cry together?

Theas18 Mon 17-Oct-11 14:13:49

Blimey they wont let you visit because you missed the open day? I'd be onto the local authority- not anywhere local to you but the schools say you can always call them to have a look round on a working day etc if you are undecided after the open evening etc

don't know your situation re "the farm" is that where you live or is it a possible to live there and educate your DD from there?

100lilgreen Mon 17-Oct-11 16:33:39

Henrietta Barnet?!

soonbesailing Mon 17-Oct-11 21:09:36

Hi essexgirl26, first of all did you just check the distance for APS this year entrance distance or previous years as well? This years catchment was reduced at most schools in the area as the 2000 baby boom had a part to play, so it may be that the distance will be slightly larger again next year.

Are you closer to The Compton? As their catchment is small as well. I know a few people with children there and they are very happy. It does seem a bit strange that they won't let you visit, perhaps you need to ask again, could you send an email request?

Have you looked at The Wren Academy, good things are being said about it if you don't have problems with the god element.

I'd say that unless you have had some experience of the grammar school tests I wouldn't try for HB or L as they are supper selective (ie about 8/10 applicants for every place) but they could be a possibility if you think your child would cope in that environment, but again it will be hard to tell if you didn't go to the open evening.

Have all of the open evenings finished or are they still going on?

essexgirl26 Tue 18-Oct-11 20:50:55

Thanks All - I missed Heads talk and open mornings at the Compton and called school. Admissions secretary very nice and said she'd speak to Deputy Head who then phoned and left a message saying no resource/ got to draw the line somewhere blah blah! Am wondering whether to phone him back and appeal to his better nature etc. Am in catchment for Compton and school has confirmed. Think kids look very smart but haven't got same feel for it as either Fortismere and APS so need to get inside and see. 2000 baby boom hangs over into this year too but people are saying Heartlands may draw some of APS' prospects over there so could even out. APS catchment has been shrinking for the last 4 -5 years so not sure why it would magically reverse this year really especially as Fortismere's continues to shrink and some people are saying APS is better anyway. In 2 minds about HB - lovely school which I visited but as you say super selective and no catchment area at all apparently. Am finding this all very hard - seems like a huge decision with significant consequences although everyone says that its what the parents do that matters most in the end.

soonbesailing Wed 19-Oct-11 09:33:28

Yes it is all rather stressful...
I didn't look at The Compton, but friend who did see it, say it is similar in feel to APS. I know several parents who chose it over APS but they lived nearer to The Compton so it made sense.
If you went to APS and Fortismere you will already know that they are quite different in the way they work.
Can you find out how the school works with regard to things like tutor groups, setting etc?
One of my reasons for choosing Fortismere over APS was the setting, as I didn't think being in one form all the time was the best solution for my child, so it would be interesting to know what the Compton does.
I have one friend who chose the Compton for this years intake (yr7) even though she had an older child at APS.
There was quite a bit of movement after offers were given this year, several girls I know of did not get what they wanted, in the end they all got places at either Fortismere or APS, but non of them managed to get The Compton.
You are probably right about the catchment still shrinking, as that has been the trend for the past few years and as several primary schools have been enlarged it follows the more people must have moved to the area.
I know Fortismere are looking into the sibling link for the students who entered under the music criteria, so if they do get rid of it, it may free up some places, but that would not be this year.
I would def call the Deputy Head and see if there is any chance that he feels sorry for you and let you

PollyMorfic Wed 19-Oct-11 11:50:06

If you're in the Compton's catchment, that hardly constitutes a black hole, surely? It's a sought-after school, not Rough Street Sink Comp. Put APS and other schools you liked first, just in case, and put Compton as a backup. Otherwise you'll get allocated somewhere that really no-one wants.

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