Victory in the great schools battle

Two schools, one neighbourhood, and a bitter smug-struggle between parents

Share
Related Topics

If you ask me, I would like to tell you a story about a woman and two neighbouring schools which may be a story for our time, unless that is wishful thinking, in which case it isn't much of anything, but there you are.

OK. So, once upon a time, which may be right now, there were two London primary schools. We will call one Ashmount, for that is its name, and the other Coleridge, for that is its name. The schools were no more than a quarter of a mile apart but, London being London, were dramatically different. Ashmount was at the poorer end of Islington and took in a large council estate while Coleridge was in one of the richer parts of Haringey and its intake was largely white and middle-class with a fondness for skiing.

So, anyway, this woman, whose own child attended Ashmount, albeit some years ago, has had to put up with years of being patronised by Coleridge parents, even though Ashmount is "good" according to Ofsted and she never had any problems with it whatsoever. She once even overheard one mother say to another in the fish shop: "Oscar didn't get into Coleridge so they offered us a place at Ashmount. Over my dead body!"

But now Ashmount, which was, admittedly, in a rather dilapidated state, is on the move to a new site and a new building which the woman has just seen, and it is amazing. It is set in a beautiful green space surrounded by woodland. It looks like a top-end Alpine resort in and of itself. It is also the first carbon-neutral school in the UK and shares the site with a new eco centre. Most important, though, it has shifted from N19 to N8, and, as "it is all in the Ns", as the woman was once told, it has moved up 11!

Now, finally, thinks the woman, could the time have come to wind up Coleridge parents? If so, the woman suggests saying loudly wherever you go: "I know a child who went to Coleridge and was fine", as well as, "You can put your name on the Ashmount waiting list... you never know", and "Coleridge? Over my dead body!"

The woman knows none of this shows her in a good light, but she can't help laughing her head off all the same.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Executive, London

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Charter Selection: This highly prestigious luxury b...

C++ Software Developer / Image Processing / 3D Visualisation

£45,000 to £55,000: IT Connections Ltd: C++ Software Developer / Image Process...

Java / J2EE Developer / Agile / Linux

£30,000 to £40,000: IT Connections Ltd: Java / J2EE Developer / Agile / Linux ...

Software Development Manager / Java / J2EE

£45,000 to £55,000: IT Connections Ltd: Software Development Manager / Java / ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Prince George's birthday is a pleasant distraction, but the monarchy still makes me feel uneasy

Simon Kelner
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor