When it comes to giving our children the best start in life, one of the biggest decisions we face as parents is choosing where they go to school. Demand for leading schools can be exceptionally high and finding a home in close proximity or within catchment areas can be no small task!
So here are our 5 things to think about when finding a new school
1) Start your search early
Looking to stay local?
What schools are there where you live now? And what are the catchment areas for each? If you have young children, it might be worth thinking further ahead for secondary schools as well as primary schools.
Looking to relocate?
Research local schools and catchment areas before you start your home search. Our agents know the best local schools and areas for you to focus on. It might be worth an initial chat with one or more of our branches to find out more.
2) What are the best schools for my children?
What are the best schools for my child/children? The Good Schools Guide is a fantastic source of information on schools across the UK. They also have consultants available to help you, particularly helpful if you are new to an area or looking to relocate. Ofsted is also another credible source; rating schools from ‘Outstanding’ to ‘Good’ and so on.
3) Competitive catchment areas – are they worth it?
To live within the postcode of an Ofsted “outstanding” rated state secondary school, you can expect to pay more. Houses in these areas are usually in high demand, so you might want to register your interest with one of our agents as early as possible. Also engaging with a mortgage broker like Capital Private Finance as early as possible can help you discover how much you can afford to borrow to help in the decision making process.
4) When is the right time?
When should you move? The registration window for primary schools is September to January. For secondary schools, the deadline is October. Public schools have their own admissions procedures, with registrations to the top schools needing to be made at least a year before entry. So depending on the age of your children and the school you choose, it can vary widely. Whether you choose to rent or buy, you will need to factor in plenty of time to complete your purchase/agree your rental lease, settle in, and explore these schools fully.
5) What else do you want from your new home?
As if catchment areas and house prices aren’t enough to think about, there are other factors to consider; is the commute easy? What’s the local community like? Is it close to family and friends? Does it have a big enough garden for the dog?
So, plenty to think about and weigh up! It’s certainly worth speaking to one of our agents for some local insight to explore your options.
Here are some of our current homes for sale/ to let near some of the best schools in the UK: