South West London State Secondary Options(11 Posts)
We will soon be moving to the Battersea Park area and will be looking at State secondary options. We are not religious. What are the choices in this area? We will be out of area for Graveney which has been recommended and DCs not likely to get academic places. Is Harris Academy Battersea the only possibility or are there others?
Sorry should gave read DCs NOT likely to get academic places.
Probably best to start with this :-
It will tell you how big the catchment areas are for each school - most of the more sought after ones have a smaller catchment are, while some of the less sought after ones accept everyone who applies (not an indication of how good the schools are, of course, just an indication of how they're regarded). It will also tell you whether religion is an issue.
You can measure the distance between your prospective home and the school using google maps or similar and see whether you're likely to be close enough to get in. Some have specialist exams (eg. in art, languages, technology) when your child is in year 6 too, which could be an additional avenue in (as long as your child would be interested in that specialism).
It will also help to look at the DfE website to assess results:-
Or OFSTED for a more general view :-
Once you've narrowed it down, come back to this website (which is a fantastic resource!) and ask for info on particular schools - there's always someone who's children are there/who know someone who is and are willing to help.
Good luck, hopefully that's helpful!
PS I wouldn't rely too much on the good schools guide - I found it a bit out of date and mainly does indies so not really worth the money.
Remember you don't have to restrict your choices to Wandsworth schools, and depending on which side of the park you are, you might be within reach of Pimlico, which I think has a good reputation, or any schools in the Fulham area, for example.
Harris has only just taken over at Battersea Park Road, so what the school will be like is unknown. It has a difficult demographic. It always was a much-swerved school, and it will be brilliant if Harris can turn it round.
Pupils do go across to Pimlico academy from that area, or up to Lambeth Academy (by Clapham Common).
IIRC there are a couple of Catholic schools round there (including St Thomas Moore in Chelsea), and if you have DDs you could try Greycoats (language aptitude place if not a churchgoer).
Thanks for these tips. Just starting to get a slight sinking feeling about the liklihood of getting a place anywhere other than Harris Battersea - given that we are not religious and DCs have no special aptitudes - apart from being delightful people! Reading between the lines of the admissions info for more sought after schools, if you are not looked after, religious or a sibling it all seems to boil down to distance and I suspect that both Lambeth and Pimlico may be too far away for us to stand much of a chance.
Battersea park not too far for Pimlico. It takes students from further afield. Also Chelsea Academy?
As Blu says you can also apply to schools slightly further away. If you are not far from a train station look at schools close to the train stations going out of London. Some of these don't have the same pressure on school places as those in central London and it is not as difficult to get into a good school. I know of people who have done this successfully.
Yes, most schools have distance as the criteria that most children will be admitted under. The school or the LA usually publish 'last distance ' but this refers to the first round of offers. By the first day of term the distance can have widened considerably as the waiting lists shake down.
There are other opportunities: Kingsdale, for example , in Dulwich , admits by Lottery. Not sure if the train from W Dulwich goes to a station near you on its way into town.
I know plenty of Lambeth kids go to Pimlico.
Many thanks for your helpful replies. I think I am narrowing it down to Pimlico, Chelsea, Lambeth and Harris Battersea. Does anyone have any first hand experience of any of these? We are looking initially at 2016 entry for DS1 and 2018 entry for DS2 and will I think be able to get mid year places in feeder primaries if that helps with entry. Nearest stations are Battersea Park, Queenstown Rd and then Clapham Junction. Greycoats is out as we only have DSs. Kingsdale looks like a difficult commute - at least by our current standards. Not sure about a Catholic school as we are really not religious.
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