WHAT PRICE A TOP PERFORMER?
The most expensive “outstanding” school to live close to is Bousfield Primary School, in Kensington, where homes have an average asking price of more than £2.25 million.
Homes within the catchment of Soho Parish CofE Primary School have an average asking price of almost £2.2 million, while those near St Barnabas and St Philip’s CofE Primary School, again in Kensington, cost just over £2 million.
There are, however, considerably more affordable alternatives for parents to consider that are also in the catchment of top-performing schools. The most affordable location in London is in the hinterland of Castilion Primary School, Thamesmead, where the average asking price of homes is £247,284. Homes close to nearby Hawksmoor School, which also has an “outstanding” Ofsted report, have an average asking price of £248,786.
Just across the Thames, in Barking, Thames View Infants is another affordable “outstanding” option, with average local prices of £273,459.
Buyers willing to live right on the fringes of London could consider
Many parents, adds Leaf, take an early approach to moving to an area with a good local school — sometimes even before their children are born.
Other mums and dads simply try to cheat the system by renting a property in the catchment area, while keeping the family home elsewhere. But schools are becoming increasingly wise to this trick.
The high cost of homes close to top primaries means some families will compromise on the property to be near their school of choice. “Park Hill Junior School in Croydon is so popular that we are now selling twoto three-bedroom maisonettes to families willing to sacrifice a garden to buy within the catchment,” says Ian Vernon, senior associate at Bairstow Eves. Though the premium to live by an “outstanding” primary school is
Mark Rimell, a partner in Strutt & Parker’s national country house department, says top schools also create commuter belt price hotspots. Across the South-East, homes close to “outstanding” schools are £71,979 more expensive than those near schools that “require improvement”, partly due to an outflow of Londoners looking for excellent educational standards.
“I moved from Clapham to Hertfordshire for this very reason,” says Rimell. “I wanted better schools with larger grounds that would give my kids a better education and a higher quality of life.”
£425,000: new two-bedroom flats at The Avenue, close to “outstanding” Park Hill Juniors in Croydon. Through Countrywide (020 8012 6882)
£354,000: a three-bedroom terrace house in Grange Crescent, close to top-rated Castilion Primary School in Thamesmead. Tepilo (01702 744264)