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School Catchment Crisis | How high Ofsted ratings are driving up house prices

With the number of pupils outstripping the number of places available at sought-after schools, the ‘school catchment crisis’ is more prevalent than ever.   

As a result of increasing birth rates in the early 2000s, demand has increased significantly over the past five years, which is now having a knock-on effect on secondary schools. 

In 2013/14, just under half a million pupils applied for secondary schools. This increased to more than 560,000 in 2017/182.  The demand is only set to increase further, with the number of secondary school pupils expected to rise by a further 540,000 between 2017 and 2025. 

School admission rules are mainly based on location – your child needs to live in a school’s catchment area to stand the best chance of being accepted. However, new guidelines mean if your child has a brother or sister in your preferred school, this can also increase the likelihood of securing a place.

Other criteria such as medical issues, special educational needs, and exam results can give you priority in certain schools3.

Despite the rules being slightly more lenient, the competition remains fierce and people are purposely moving to ensure they are in the catchment area of a good school. Some are even going to the extremes of bending the rules to try and guarantee a place in their school of choice.

So, how much will it cost you if you want to move to the catchment area of a sought-after school? We analysed Ofsted data against average house prices to find out. 

Our research revealed average house prices are higher in catchment areas of schools that have a stronger Ofsted rating.

The average price of a house within the catchment area of a school with an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating (1) is £331,605. That’s 13.2% higher than the cost of a home near a school with an Ofsted grade of 2 (good) and a 31% increase on a 3 (requires improvement).

Whereas moving from the catchment zone of school with a score of 4 (inadequate) to a 1 rating could mean buying a house that’s a massive 40.96% more expensive.

The figures show the average house price increases by a whopping £96,363 if you want to live in an area with an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating compared to a catchment with an Ofsted rating of 4.

Even the shift from ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’ schools drives up house prices significantly, increasing the cost of a house by £38,672. 

Catchment Areas

Sunderland is the best value place to live in the UK if you want your child to attend a top-rated school.

Birmingham is home to the highest number of top-rated schools (160) and average house prices by Ofsted rating fall below the national average (£331,605), at £248,504.

Sunderland is the cheapest place to live if you want your child to attend a school a high-performing school, with house prices costing an average of just £114,157.

Buying a house near an ‘outstanding’ school in Western Central London, on the other hand, could cost you a staggering £1,345,614. 

is the most expensive postcode in the UK if you want your child to attend an ‘outstanding’ school.

Unsurprisingly, the most expensive postcode for an ‘outstanding’ school is SW7, which covers the area of South Kensington and part of Knightsbridge.

Living in SW7 will set you back a whopping £1,795,725 on average.

Houses near an ‘outstanding’ school in LE1 (Winstanley in Leicester), however, only cost an average of £117,064. 

You can read the full article here


Source: 07/02/19

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