My twin daughters are two and a half, and I'm delighted to say, there is a wonderful community primary on my doorstep. My friend's daughters went there many years ago, as did some of the lovely staff at their nursery. The local secondary heads rate it. Ofsted gave it Outstanding across the board. It's diverse, multilingual, ambitious yet friendly. It teaches creatively with a topic-based approach, actively includes parents and takes 7-year olds to the opera. It even has a bit of outdoor play space which has been brilliantly designed to create a variety of active and quiet zones.
I'm so pleased, I won't need to uproot my family and move. I love Hackney, I love my home and living in this community.
Ah. There's a catch. Since the school is popular, only children living less than 245 metres from the front door can get a place. All the kids from the council estate we live in are excluded, although this is the nearest school. Hackney lacks nearly 2000 primary places, and the Council have known about it for at least seven years. Hundreds of new flats have been built near our home recently, the balconies bulge with trikes and buggies. It doesn't take a genius to work out that the problem is not going to go away soon.
So, what next? What does a sensible parent do?