The little fella has just hit 3 and I am putting his name down for local primary schools.Looked at the Ofsted reports but they don't really give a feel for the schools and I would love to know what people think of the local schools whether as a parent/relative/teacher/TA etc to give me some idea of what they are like. (it is a long time since i went to one and all different now!)
I'm Chair of governors of Friars in Webber St and a governor of St Joseph's RC in Redcross Way. (Gosh - anonymity blown!)
There are 4 primary schools in the NW corner of Southwark - the two above, plus Cathedral C of E and Charles Dickens. They are all very good - all were well within the top 10 Southwark primaries last year and all had really good SATS results. Friars I think was the last to be OFSTEDed & we had a great report.
However, because the schools are good, they are oversubscribed. It's pretty hopeless applying to St Joseph's or the Cathedral school unless you (or partner) are a practising member of RC or C of E as they are voluntary aided church schools and give priority to people of their faith. Friars is not, but it gives priority first to children with siblings at the school, then children with recognised special needs, and then those living very close by. It is so much in demand that children living only a small distance away often have to be refused, which is sad. I don't know about Charles Dickens, but the thing is to visit the schools and suss them out as soon as possible.
Of course there are primary schools in Lambeth, & I don't know where you live. Sorry, I don't know anything about Lambeth schools. But I do advise you to visit the schools you fancy, see what you think, and ask about entrance/waiting lists. Three is certainly not too young to get sorted.
Hilary seems to have forgotton St.Georges cathedral school , St. Judes and Charlotte sharmon are also in SE1. Also good schools as far as I am ware St. Judes and St.Georges are both church schools. and again over subsribed. St.Georges has been good for my children one has now left and got good sats results and is happy at his new school secondary (out of the borough) .
I do not have any dirrect conection with Charles Dickens although my children go to the borough music school held there on sat and monday after school. If their sats results are anything to go by they have improved dramtically over recent years. when my lad started school I would not have considered it I would now though. Also there work on display is fantastic of an excellent standard and is changed regularly. The playground is lovely too unlike ours at st.georges. I am told that the parents in the playground before and after school are also very friendly which I guess is a sign they are happy with the school.
Hilary's advice is correct though the only way to really tell is to go to the schools and see the work and the teachers for yourself. You will soon get an idea of what school your child will be happy in.
Thanks, jac, but I hadn't forgotten. There are, of course, many otherr schools also in SE1 - Joseph Lancaster, Boutcher C of E, Grange, Snowsfields, Tower Bridge...... probably others. SE1 is a big district and also includes quite a bit of Lambeth. I cited the four closest to the Bankside/Borough area which are the ones I really know as it's where I live. It's always difficult to know where to stop, when you don't know where someone lives.
I have to say, though, that not all the schools quoyted by jac and by me in this post have had very good OFSTEDs. Do check on the net for OFSTED results - they may not be a complete guide, asd there's more to schools than inspection results, but they do show up any serious weaknesses. Good luck.