How far will parents go to get the school of their choice?

Aug 21, 2015

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Getting your child into the school of your choice can be an extremely stressful and, often disappointing endeavour. For the masses, a place at a prestigious private school and the yearly fees that comes with it is out of the question. So for year’s choosing a school has become increasingly difficult with the woes of falling outside a catchment area tripping many up. This has led to desperate parents upping routes and moving, in many cases even downsizing, just to get their child into a school.

But how important is the decision of schooling when considering where to settle down and buy a property?

We carried out a survey of 1,000 UK homeowners with children up to the age of 18, to determine how prevalent the issue of schooling was when deciding where to build a life.

Surprisingly just 27% of those surveyed had studied the school league tables prior to choosing a school for their child. This suggests that word of mouth is a far more popular method of deciding where to send your child for schooling, as parents opt for the local knowledge of other parents, friends and family, over the data from an Ofsted report.

However once the decision has been made, parents seem to go the full hog to get a place at their chosen school. 22% of those asked had previously moved closer to the school of their choice, in an attempt to get their child a place. A further 14% purchased a house years in advance of their child starting school, in order to be well settled in the chosen catchment area by the time their child started school.

Another 10% of those asked hadn’t just moved house, but they had actually downsized to a smaller property as that’s all they could find within their desired school catchment and an additional 10% have considered relocating to increase the chance of their child getting a school place.

Read our full Schools Performance and Property Index