Advice on Nottingham school places - help!

(22 Posts)
HeadOfWipes Sat 01-Apr-17 08:05:32

Hi, can anyone offer advice on Nottingham school places please? We're relocating and trying to find a Year 1 place for September but when I call admissions, I don't get so much a list of available places as a list of waiting lists! Seems there are only a handful of yr1 places available at ofsted1 and 2 schools. Does this mean we have to look at less well performing schools to get a place within the city boundary? We don't quality for SEN and have no sibling already in school so we're relatively low on the priority list before we start. Catchment is our only hope but some schools already have up to 30 on their waiting lists. I'm sure there are some nice schools out there, lower rated by ofsted (3/4) - should we be looking at those to get a place? Seems pretty unfair for those moving into the city mid-way through. We'd like to live in either beeston or woodthorpe. Any advice anyone? Having a nightmare with this! Thanks!

Silenenutans Sat 01-Apr-17 11:38:02

I think as well as getting yourselves on as many waiting lists as possible that yes, considering a less desirable school with spaces, that you've chosen as the best option available, is probably better than ending up being allocated one that you consider even less desirable.

Schools can't hold back spaces for people who might move part way through the year, as that would be unfair on children already in or near their catchment.

So yes, tricky - but some schools which currently have a lower rating may well be perfectly good and/or 'on their way up' so I'd think it would be well worth identifying the possibles, asking about them on here by name and visiting to get a feel for them.

Good luck!

HeadOfWipes Sat 01-Apr-17 14:01:07

Thanks silenenutans, yes it does seem like we either have to compromise on the school or where to live. Difficult call but yes there are probably lots of on-the-up schools - it's just trying to find them!! Anyone know of any good schools (not the super popular ones!) near beeston/woodthorpe?

Charmatt Mon 10-Apr-17 23:30:17

Do you want to apply for a school place for Nottingham City or Nottinghamshire? Both Beeston and Woodthorpe are in Nottinghamshire and you need to apply to them for a place there. No place can be allocated to you before you move, but Nottinghamshire can advise you where there may be places available.

Once you apply, Nottinghamshire will give you a mandatory place if all your preference schools have no spaces. Nottingham City don't provide mandatory places so you have to find your own. If none of your preferred schools have spaces, you can appeal for either authorities.

Do you have a reason for preferring Beeston or Woodthorpe? They are across the city from each other with no obvious link.

beanhunter Sat 15-Apr-17 21:04:14

Following too. Also moving in the summer. Waiting to exchange on a house in tollerton but know the school there has no places for year 1 for sept sad

Charmatt Sat 15-Apr-17 21:39:36

For Tollerton, you could try Crossdale Primary and Keyworth Primary - both in Keyworth and in the same Trust as Tollerton. Both have a similar ethos to Tollerton and are excellent schools.

FruitCider Sat 15-Apr-17 22:05:21

Unfortunately Nottingham has a school place crisis. My friends child was rejected from 9 different schools, ended up being home schooled for a bit before being offered a place 6 miles away to their siblings. Her child started school almost an academic year late as a result. This was 3 years ago now, apparently things are slightly better but nowhere near good enough.

beanhunter Sat 15-Apr-17 22:12:32

Crossdale likely to be the choice. I know it has places but we can't apply yet as don't want a place until sept. Need to go and visit. Heard less good things about keyworth school. Is that accurate or Chinese whispers?

HeadOfWipes Sat 15-Apr-17 23:05:24

Hi everyone, thanks for the input. It's really frustrating as not sure what to do. Charmatt, was interested by what you said about "Nottingham City don't provide mandatory places so you have to find your own" - crap! if that is true, I'm not sure where we'll end up! As you say FruitCider, there does seem to be a real crisis in Nottingham with school places, although I'm not sure how much of this is just culture shock on my part relocating from the depths of rural Wales where they are plenty of school places. Your friend's story sounds awful - I'd be a terrible teacher for home-schooling! Really hoping it doesn't come to that! As everywhere is 'full', we've just decided to go for an area we like and hope for the best - can't see another way of doing it. Fingers crossed we might just get a place on appeal if we're within catchment. I've tried to find one or two schools nearish where we want to live that have low waiting lists in that hope that they can be our back-up offer (i.e. so we don't just end up being allocated anywhere), but who knows if that will work. The funny thing is, when we've visited the schools, they're all so keen to sell us their school - several of them spent ages showing us round and then you ask at the end of the tour if they think there might be places available and they say "oh no, we're always full, but you can always put us down". All very odd. Pulling my hair out with this one! I'd be happy to find a place in a friendly, inclusive local school whatever the Ofsted rating - it's a nightmare school run miles out of the way I'm dreading most, especially as I've only just passing my driving test and still very nervous on the road. Just have to hope it all just works out I suppose - fingers crossed for you too beanhunter.

Charmatt Sun 16-Apr-17 00:32:35

I hope it works out for you, Headofwipes. I know the schools in Rushcliffe and Gedling boroughs best but ic you want an objective opinion on any, I'm happy to give you one.

Bean hunter, Keyworth and Crossdale share an executive headteacher. Keyworth suffered reputationally from the previous headteacher but in the last two years deserves a much better opinion. It's rated as good by Ofsted. Crossdale has always had a good reputation so it's not surprising that Keyworth has a better standing with the same headteacher. I would visit both - Crossdale is lovely but is the most popular in the village but at Keyworth you'd have smaller classes.

beanhunter Sun 16-Apr-17 07:38:16

Thanks charmatt. Know anything about tollerton or edwalton? Technically they are the two closest schools.
Head of wipes - where have you decided to head to?

Charmatt Sun 16-Apr-17 10:55:29

Tollerton is a lovely school - one form entry - like all the village schools its numbers are dependent on the birth rate so it has been full for the past couple of years. It is also tge nearest school to West Bridgford that isn't part of it so in busy years for West Bridgford it gets oversubscribed. Edwalton is now considered part of the wider West Bridgford area and is usually full, but like Grey thorn it sometimes has spaces because they are both considered to be less good than the other schools in the area. Personally I don't like the headteacher there, but others do. Because of the building that is going on in Bridgford the schools there are likely to be full going forward. A school has not yet been approved for the main new estate there.

HeadOfWipes Sun 16-Apr-17 11:31:41

Hi beanhunter, think we're looking to move to either Beeston or Woodthorpe, but still not found a house yet. Thanks for the schools advice Charmatt. Don't suppose you know anything about Beeston Fields or Walter Halls primaries? We've been down a few times now, so starting to get the geography a bit better, but still keep coming across possible new areas. Do you know anything about Bramcote or Ruddington as places to live Charmatt? Time to start narrowing down I think or we'll be looking forever!

RainbowsAndLemonDrops Sun 16-Apr-17 11:38:03

Don't send your child to Beeston Fields! The staff turn over rate is crazy. There is so much supply at that school with the staff going on sick leave/being pushed out/sacked. That's across the year groups.

Walter Halls is a good school, they've recently had Ofsted in and achieved a good report. I'm not sure what Academy Trust they're part of so may be worth checking that out.

beanhunter Sun 16-Apr-17 11:46:46

Thanks charmatt. I wish we thought we'd get into tollerton. The school is literally at the bottom of the garden we are buying!

Charmatt Sun 16-Apr-17 11:54:01

I agree that Beeston Fields is not one I'd send my children to. Walter Halls is an LA maintained school and has a decent reputation. Ruddington is a nice place to live but the schools are oversubscribed. Bunny and Keyworth are nearby and they have lovely schools - there are no questionable schools there and because they are villages and far enough away from the city they have space. Bramcote is also a decent place to live - Bramcote Hills Primary has a good reputation too!

Charmatt Sun 16-Apr-17 11:55:40

I did my first teaching practice at Tollerton Primary, Beanhunter, so I am biased in liking it but the local schools in the villages are lovely too.

HeadOfWipes Sun 16-Apr-17 12:30:05

Thanks so much for your advice Charmatt and RainbowsandLemonDrops, really helpful! It's truly a minefield :/ Will you put Tollerton down as a choice anyway beanhunter? Think we're going to put the ones we prefer down incase, but it'd be nice to have a safe back-up we've vetted rather than one the council randomly decides to give us. Charmatt, do you know anything about Wadsworth Fields? We visited a couple of weeks ago and that seemed nice too.

beanhunter Sun 16-Apr-17 12:38:21

Yep pretty sure it will go down as our first choice so we can get on the waiting list. Suspect we will end up in one of the keyworth schools.

Charmatt Sun 16-Apr-17 12:50:00

You won't have a bad school if you do Beanhunter - I hope the move goes well!
Headofwipes, Wadsworth Fields is a school I don't know but that is probably a good thing. In my job we hear about schools if they have a particularly good or bad reputation. Their Ofsted seems fine.

PuppyMonkey Sun 16-Apr-17 13:00:02

My niece goes to Wadsworth Fields - she loves it. Sister and family live in Bramcote and really like it there. You need to apply through Nottinghamshire County Council, not Nottingham City though.

SilenceOfTheYams Sun 16-Apr-17 13:14:08

My friend's daughter is in reception at Walter Halls and she likes the school. It wasn't their first choice on their applications but they are happy with it. We live out in Sawley, having moved there from Mapperley for my husband's job, so just over in Derbyshire. All the schools in our area are good to outstanding by Ofsted standards. We got our first choice and are really happy with how daughter has found Reception this year.

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