Lambeth Academy(15 Posts)
Hi all. Dd only yr 4 but we are moving house by choice, and can't afford to move more than once, so need to think about a school at lambeth Academy - think that she'd be well in the top 25% of their banding system, and I just want to know from parents how happy they are with the school, and if anyone knows ROUGHLY how far the catchment goes for that band? Or any relevant information at all! The school won't say and the borough don't hold the info cos it's an Academy.
It's hard because schools change so fast.
I would move somewhere with a realistic choice of more than one school, to guard against that.
LA isn't especially sought after and the family I know with a 'high attainer' pulled their DC out after a year. But I have seen other reports on MN of of children being very happy there.
Move a little further SE into the Dunraven catchment? Which could then also give you a choice of Elmgreen, St Martin in the Fields, City Heights and a lottery place at Kingsdale, depending on your exact address.
Thanks so much, really helpful. I'm sure I'm asking dumb questions, but do you have good hints about finding out catchment areas? For example, you say 'into the Dunraven catchment...which would also give you a choice of'. Seems like very sound advice, but I just don't know how one begins to get information about where that means it's sensible to go. Do you? We were so lucky with primary - three excellent schools nearby, and we couldn't be happier with our nearest, where dd goes. Great, don't get me wrong, but it means that my knowledge about digging for school information is not the best!
Thanks again for finding time to respond.
Its not a dumb question. Lambeth, unlike Wandsworth next door, do not unfortunately publish the "catchment distance" (ie how near you needed to be in the last year of admission to have got in - bearing in mind this can vary from year to year).
It will be hard to find out - if the school won't tell you - some google searches, some mumsnet threads (like your one if people respond more or this one) and you might get people giving you some idea/anectodtes, but they won't be definitive.
Perhaps freedom of information law might be used to get the info from the school or local authority but that would have to be done on a case-by-case basis (and there may well be some "exemption" that they can rely on). Not very helpful suggestion.
The schools may tell you though - some produce maps on open evenings, Dunraven told me over the phone, Elmgreen were very happy to discuss in detail (those both some years ago), some have a "never greater than" distance on their websites. Do ask whether the distances they are quoting are for a normal year or a bulge one, what bands the distances apply to, and whether they are 1 March (or whatever) or 1 September (ie entry) distances.
Really helpful, everyone, thank you. I asked the school, including info on band distances, but they wouldn't tell me. Interesting that others do. I have heard of Dunraven, but where Elmgreen is a new one to me...thanks so very much for the advice.
The Dunraven distance info is on their website under Admissions / SIF Guidance:
"For your guidance, for the Year 7 intake for September 2013, no offers made under the distance criteria on National Offer Day (1 March 2013) were greater than 1.177 miles. In the closest band the distance only
reached as far as 0.496 miles.".
The school uses shortest walking route to measure, by which they mean lit paths. I believe that across the 5 bands the lowest ability has the tightest catchment because so many places in this band are allocated to children who meet high priority admissions criteria, (statement, looked after, SEN) and the top band has the widest catchment.
Elmgreen is about half a mile or further East on Elmcourt Rd.
this would get you into Dunraven and possibly Elmgreen too, either and very close to excellent train services from Tulse hill station, either, either with a v short walk to excellent transport links from Streatham Hill Station]]
Dunraven is in the good schools guide!
Does St. Martin's have a religion criterion?
The Lambeth Schools Admission brochure has the admissions criteria for all the schools here. It says that St Martins admits 60% of places as faith places and 40% as open places.
Thanks again everyone. This is great. The main problem with moving nearer Dunraven etc is that I commute quite a way from Clapham Junction for work, so adding too much to the journey will make family life more tricky. Being a grown up is hard ;-)
There are trains from Streatham Hill to Clapham Junction, might that help? There are three Streatham stations - both S Hill and Streatham are pretty close that that area. I think you are going to need a spreadsheet to triangulate train options and banding distances!
Have a look at Chestnut Grove, too - becoming v popular and doing well. I have no idea how far their catchment extends.
I have DS at Lambeth Academy. He is very happy there. Pastoral support at the school is exceptional and the teachers are great. I would say that living in SW4, you have a lot of good (though maybe not sought after) schools to choose from. Chestnut Grove selects some pupils via a test and a lot of kids from Clapham go there. Platanos College (former Stockwell Park) gets good Ofsted. New free school is opening on Brixton Hill. Lambeth Academy's catchment probably varies from year to year, so that might be why they don't say, but I would have thought it's at least a mile, probably more in the higher band, since most kids that live right next to it go private, simply because their families are very well off.
Good point about the new Brixton Hill free school - apparently it's catchment will be measured from a point in Clapham . It will not be a Catholic School in that it is adopted by the Catholic church (the diocese have declined to take it on) but it will have a catholic ethos. Anyway - increases the options for Clapham residents.
I liked the look of Chestnut Grove when we saw it, and its catchment area is really big (or was). Well worth a look IMO, especially for art-minded children.
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