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Parents pay £50,000 for school catchment privilege

Sarah Davidson

September 10, 2014

On average parents are prepared to pay £19,000 extra for a house in the catchment area for a good school, while a quarter would consider renting an additional property in the catchment area. Nearly a third of parents have moved house to be in a desired catchment area.

Gareth Lane, head of home insurance at Confused.com, said: “Although household finances remain stretched, it is significant to see from our research that a number of parents are willing to pay more on the price of a new home to ensure their child is in the catchment area for a good school.

“Choosing the right school for your child is possibly one of the most important decisions a parent will make. However, it’s concerning that inflated house prices could be impacting choices for children in education by pricing people out of areas with good schools.

“However, while local primary school performance is something that parents might be likely to consider when buying a home, it is just one of a number of factors that can impact house prices, along with local crime rates, flooding risks and insurance prices, to name but a few.”

Such is the level of priority placed on school catchment areas, nearly one in five parents said they started thinking about which school to send their child to before they were even born.

Many are even willing to ‘cheat the system’ to secure places at the most sought after schools in the country, as nearly one in 10 parents admit to giving a false address within the catchment area of a good school.

Due to increased demand ‘catchment area premiums’ exist on homes near the most academically successful state schools in the country.

Compared to England’s average house price of £275,721, the typical price of a house close to Lowbrook Academy, Maidenhead – one of England’s best state schools – is £481,023, meaning it would be cheaper for families to educate their child at a local private school than to move into the catchment area.


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