As the previous poster rightly points out 'mud sticks', and I for one would previously not have considered Alderbrook.
However, the (extremely picky) principal of my child's pre-school (who has been teaching in the area for years) recently went to inspect it, and was so impressed that she said she has gone from advising parents to 'put it last on their list' to advising them to 'put it as their very first choice'.
On that basis, we met with the new head, Seana Henry. Originally from Ireland, she was brought in as a troubleshooter by Wandsworth council, and then decided to apply for the long-term role and stay on. She promised she's in it for the long term. She came across as kind, fair and hugely passionate. She's reshuffled a lot of the teaching staff (and anecdotally I've heard she also let some go - though interestingly she didn't tell us this).
Her approach appears to be a 'ground-up' one, ie: lay the foundations, get it right at reception, Y1, Y2 etc. As one of the parents has already mentioned, they are putting children into sets so that anyone struggling gets the right support, and the brightest are sufficiently challenged. They've prioritised high-quality staffing, and taken on decent teaching assistants so there is a teacher AND assistant per class group (ie a 15:1 ratio). There's a brand-new 'Early Years' building which Ofsted have already (presumably off the record?) described as 'outstanding'.
So far, so amazing. BUT... they don't seem to have the same vision for the older children. It's as if they think that if they get them off to the right start, that'll be enough. I'm not convinced. Currently they're only getting a handful of kids into private secondaries (eg. Emanual) or the better grammar-type states (Graveney) and they don't seem to have a master plan as to how to increase this.
My advice? Send your kids until 7+ and then re-assess. Either the whole school will be brilliant by then, or it's a sensible time to transfer to another school (or go private), or of course consider top-up tutoring, so they're prepared for the 11+.
As for 'likeminded parents' - if you gathered every professional parent you knew with an offer (or used NVN to find them!), you'd have a PTA to be reckoned with. That's how Belleville pulled its socks up, over a decade ago - everyone sent their kids en masse and basically supported the school (plus helped with fundraising etc). Virtuous circle ensued.
Good luck and keep us all posted! (We are a year away so watching this all unfold with great interest)...
ps. for anyone being offered a school within walking distance (albeit not their first choice), at least consider yourselves lucky that you're not in THIS predicament, which is frankly appalling: http://www.nappyvalleynet.com/mums/view ... ld#p114449