Research conducted by Lloyds in September 2016 reveals that despite average property prices being £313,318, some parents are prepared to pay £53,000 more so that they may live within the catchment area of one of England’s top 30 state schools; that is a huge 17% price hike. However, this amount can differ drastically depending on which area you wish to reside, for example, to stand any chance of your child attending Beaconsfield High School in Bucks you will need to pay on average £629,021; that is a staggering 171% more than the average house price in neighbouring areas.
State schools in areas including London, Buckinghamshire, Cheshire, Warwickshire, Kent and Lancashire are all ranked in the Top 10 for 2016 Below is a table detailing the price premium parents need to pay to ensure they live in the much desired school catchment area:
|Average 2016 House Price||Average House Price in County 2016 (£)||Premium to County 2016 £||Premium to County 2016 %|
|Beaconsfield High School||Buckinghamshire||£996,212||£367,191||£629,021||171%|
|The Henrietta Barnett School||Barnet||£1,011,016||£581,510||£429,506||74%|
|Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School||Buckinghamshire||£587,272||£367,191||£220,082||60%|
|The Tiffin Girls’ School||Kingston upon Thames||£721,078||£529,066||£192,011||36%|
|Dr Challoner’s High School||Buckinghamshire||£535,498||£367,191||£168,308||46%|
|Altrincham Grammar School for Girls||Cheshire||£380,847||£229,127||£151,720||66%|
|Stratford Girls’ Grammar School||Warwickshire||£344,502||£256,777||£87,725||34%|
|King Edward VI School||Warwickshire||£344,502||£256,777||£87,725||34%|
|The Skinners’ School||Kent||£394,904||£308,286||£86,618||28%|
|Clitheroe Royal Grammar School||Lancashire||£232,694||£153,238||£79,455||52%|
As you can see the premium can be anything between 28-171%. However, currently The Skinners’ school do not have a catchment area and accept pupils depending on their 11+ score. Perhaps if they did have a catchment area the premium may be higher.
Unfortunately, the additional cost of living near any of the top state schools may result in a house being out of reach for parents on an average salary. Although anyone looking for an investment would perhaps be wise to invest in such a property. The table below details how house prices have increased drastically over the last 5 years.
|School||Postal District||Average House Price 2016||Average House Price 2011||Price Change in 5 Years||% Change in 5 Years|
|The Henrietta Barnett School||NW11||£1,011,016||£776,630||£234,386||30%|
|The Tiffin Girls’ School||KT2||£721,078||£488,125||£232,953||48%|
|Beaconsfield High School||HP9||£996,212||£767,383||£228,829||30%|
|Newstead Wood School||BR6||£509,385||£348,902||£160,482||46%|
|Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School||SL7||£587,272||£476,545||£110,727||23%|
|Sutton Grammar School||SM1||£336,412||£227,980||£108,432||48%|
|The Skinners’ School||TN4||£394,904||£290,501||£104,403||36%|
|Wallington County Grammar School||SM6||£355,046||£257,659||£97,387||38%|
|Dr Challoner’s High School||HP7||£535,498||£441,998||£93,501||21%|
|Top thirty State Schools average||£366, 744||£290,683||£76,061||26%|
Please note that the top 30 schools may change annually and so the 5 year price comparison will not be the same as 2016 schools.
However, there is a little light at the end of the tunnel for parents unable to afford these properties. In the March 2017 Budget, the Chancellor announced the opening of a further 110 new free schools on top of the 500 committed to in the last Parliament. It would seem that this can only add to the momentum for new grammar schools given the potential for selection in free schools and the government’s intention to lift the ban on grammar schools.