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School Places in SE23
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ladywotlunches


Posts: 147
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #1
19-05-2009 02:34 PM

Hi all

My little boy will be going to school in either Sept 10 or Jan 11, and I've been pretty relaxed about the whole idea, until friends of mine in East Dulwich have alerted me to the absolute nightmare some people have had with Southwark this year - with some 4 year olds being offered schools in New Cross or Old Kent road (2 miles and 2 buses away from their homes).

has anyone had experience of the process in Lewisham this year? Have parents got mainly their 1st or 2nd choice schools, or has it been a nightmare here too?

Thanks!

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vipes


Posts: 145
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #2
19-05-2009 02:52 PM

Unless they introduce lotteries the same 'closer the better' principle will apply. Ours got into Fairlawn at 460 meters from the school and the maximum radius this year was 500.

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ladywotlunches


Posts: 147
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #3
19-05-2009 02:59 PM

Great - I'm on Canonbie so its about 150m as the crow flies, 300 to walk up the hill and down again! Thats what I had been relying on, but recent events got me a tad worried!

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #4
19-05-2009 03:10 PM

I agree children should go to the nearest school. Surely this is the number one priority for all children.
How have Southwark gotten in that mess.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,351
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #5
19-05-2009 10:12 PM

You need to apply early. If all local places have been allocated, your child will get what is left.

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michael


Posts: 3,199
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #6
19-05-2009 10:23 PM

Brian Wrote:
How have Southwark gotten in that mess.


My suspicion is that the intake classes for the public schools might not be quite so busy this year, and there are a lot of public schools in Southwark. Or am I just imagining that the recession could have an effect on peoples' willingness to pay school fees?

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whlsarah


Posts: 1
Joined: May 2009
Post: #7
20-05-2009 07:37 AM

Part of the problem in Southwark is that many parents don't want their child to go to their local school.

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roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #8
20-05-2009 07:42 AM

I think Michaels theory is correct; people are in this climate less willing to fork out on private schools particularly for younger children. There was a report somewhere on falling rolls in the local Dulwich prep schools etc. Lewisham primary schools, particularly around FH have really good reputations so its senseless for anyone to even consider a private education unless they are really minted. Southwark has more of a mixed bag from what I can gather however the ones around East Dulwich are meant to be very good.

To answer your question, as far as I know from friends their experience with Lewisham has been very good and few seem disappointed with what they have been given. Perhaps Lewisham is just better at forecasting and planning than Southwark.

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shzl400


Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #9
20-05-2009 10:52 AM

Roz Wrote:
Lewisham primary schools, particularly around FH have really good reputations so its senseless for anyone to even consider a private education unless they are really minted.


I agree that a lot of the primary schools in our area - Fairlawn, Stillness etc. have excellent reputations. However, I would warn anyone hoping to switch to private for a secondary place that competition for places is likely to be intense and you may be disappointed, whereas the "all-the-way-through" private schools offer "free passage" straight into the senior school in all but the most exceptional cases, although there are more places at year 7. There will also be competition from private primary only schools (Rosemead, Oakfield), as they will be teaching to focus on taking the entry exams.

One trick might be to try to go private from, say, Year 4 or 5, as places do come up as people move around - and especially these days, when people might be reconsidering their finances - then you can have several go's at the waiting list.

However, for ?10+ grand a year per child out of taxed income, I agree with Roz, you either have to be well minted or make an awful lot of sacrifices!

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IWereAbsolutelyFuming


Posts: 531
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #10
20-05-2009 01:33 PM

Not that I disagree but once you've got used to paying that for a bog standard nursery place you start to view the cost of private schools differently...

Anyway, as people have said, Forest Hill is blessed with very good primary schools and the system of allocation seems largely fair and sensible (although the 'as the crow flies' measurement can have some odd impacts if you are the wrong side of a railway line or have no right of way to travel as per the said crow - our allocated school is the nearest for crows but 3rd nearest for those of us who have to rely on our feet...but it is still a great school).

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #11
20-05-2009 02:57 PM

Good Point
Surely schools calculate walking distance not as crow flies ( this would be very unfair and would have no justification )

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ladywotlunches


Posts: 147
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #12
21-05-2009 10:14 AM

thanks for all your help - I'm feeling much happier that we won't be travelling to a primary school 50 mins from our home when the time comes!

Sherwood - by 'apply early' do you mean do something before the official apps open in September, or just get filling in the form sharpish? I wondered about arranging visits to interesting schools - but how early can you do that?

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KitKat


Posts: 1
Joined: May 2009
Post: #13
22-05-2009 04:21 PM

Hi would like to know what people think of St Anthony's and Cabrini.
My two daughters will be starting these 2 schools in september.

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NewForester


Posts: 377
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #14
07-06-2010 03:17 PM

I see that the Mayor has announce 4,000,000 to supply 510 extra primary school places. Wonder how he will provide the other 2500 needed according to an earlier M&C report?

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NewForester


Posts: 377
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #15
07-06-2010 03:20 PM

Link to press release

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Satchers


Posts: 262
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #16
07-06-2010 10:08 PM

Brian
Distances are measured as the crow flies even if that route is not available to walk (apparently). Admissions policies at: http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/EducationAndL...nCriteria/

As an example I live about 250m from Elliott Bank School, as the crow flies, but its about an 800m walk (because of having to go down a hill and then up another hill with no cut through). But are further away from but a closer walk to Horniman School (about 500m as the crow flies and about a 600m walk).

Luckily competition was not so fierce that we are forced to walk further than we have to!

I think one of Southwark's problems has been the big change in demographic in the south of the Borough in the past few years. There are a lot more families than there used to be and 'traditionally' more people move out of London when their children reach school age than has been happening recently. However, they should have been able to predict the rise in demand to some extent.

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Ex FH Pat


Posts: 112
Joined: Oct 2009
Post: #17
08-06-2010 10:25 AM

I wrote a thread about this sort of thing a while back and got well slated for it, I believe the admissions policies are a complete joke

Surprised that they use as the crow flies in Southwark, as they dont in Wandsworth

Please dont bother if you fail to get in and try for an appeal as you will lose

Also go along with a lot of fee-paying schools may be well undersubscribed due to the current economic problems

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michael


Posts: 3,199
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #18
08-06-2010 11:30 AM

Satchers,
I measured the distance on Google Earth from your house to Horniman and Elliott Bank (which has a back gate that I always used when I lived two doors away from your place), both appear to be just under 1km (just over 3000ft) door to door.

However, if you put a gate in your back wall we could all benefit from a helpful shortcut to EB!

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Satchers


Posts: 262
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #19
08-06-2010 04:53 PM

Michael
Thats surprising. It always feels much longer! I just used the distance calculator on the Lewisham Website which by its own admission is not very accurate!

Ex FH Pat
Whilst that may be true that appeals get you nowhere, I do know a number of people who have got places by being on the waiting list as quite a few people do not take up the place they are offered.

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Ex FH Pat


Posts: 112
Joined: Oct 2009
Post: #20
09-06-2010 03:16 PM

Maybe Satchers and i wish you and all who have to go to appeal well

yet there is no chance of getting a place even if you are on the waiting list for Graveney which is in Wandsworth

The thing that gets me going is watching students all walk past where i live to go to this school, they travel by bus, tube, walk

Then we were told the we did not live in the distance even though i proved WEA were in-correct and then see our sons face as all his friends got into this school and didnt, heartbreaking

for the record, we live approx 0.38 miles away from the school

He even went to the primary school that is next door to graveney

Thankfully he has settled very well into the school he attends in Balham which received an outstanding report from ofsted, so maybe it was in the best in the long run, yet still leaves a very bitter taste and is one topic that i will argue about for ever, the schools admiisions policy is a joke, one which i believe was brought in by that joke of an mp - blair

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