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THE COST OF ‘FREE’ SCHOOLING: FAMILIES PAY AN AVERAGE PREMIUM OF £43,773 TO BUY A PROPERTY IN THE CATCHMENT AREA OF A PRIMARY SCHOOL RATED OUTSTANDING BY OFSTED

  • Properties in the locality of Ofsted rated ‘outstanding’ schools cost families on average nearly a fifth (18%) more than other properties in the area
  • St Luke’s Primary School in Brighton and Hove commands an average premium of £151,121 to buy a property close to the top rated school

London, 26th May 2016 — To secure a place at one of the country’s best performing state-funded primary schools comes at a price. According to research by online estate agents, HouseSimple.com, families are having to pay a premium of almost £44,000 to buy a property near primary schools judged as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted inspectors.

HouseSimple.com looked at average property prices in catchment areas for 50 state-funded primary schools across England that received the highest rating by Ofsted in its latest report. These prices were then compared with average house prices for the whole postcode to see what premium families might have to pay to buy a property close to a top performing school.

The research revealed that average property prices in streets that are close to – and in the catchment area – of a primary school rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, are almost a fifth (18%) higher than average property prices for the area postcode. That means the price of the best ‘free’ schooling commands an average premium of £43,773 if you want to buy a property in the locality of a top primary school.

Of the primary schools commanding the biggest premiums to live near to, more than half are in the South of England. The schools adding the biggest premium to local property prices are St Luke’s Primary School in Brighton and Hove and Crowland Primary School in Haringey, adding 45% (£151,121) and 44% (£193,816) respectively.

But according to HouseSimple figures, there are some areas offering better value to live close to ‘outstanding’ schools. Properties surrounding The Mayflower Primary School in Essex, Henry Cavendish Primary School in Lambeth and Highfields Primary School in Leicester have recently sold without buyers having to pay a hefty premium.

The following table shows the highest average percentage premium paid to purchase a property near to, and in the catchment area, of a top Ofsted rated primary school:

SchoolLocal authority areaAverage property price for local area (£) Average property price in streets close to school (£)Percentage difference (%)
St Luke’s Primary SchoolBrighton and Hove£334,692£485,81345.15
Crowland Primary SchoolHaringey£442,017£635,83343.85
Bodriggy AcademyCornwall£237,629£321,00035.08
Trowse Primary SchoolNorfolk£257,025£346,28634.73
St Julie’s Catholic Primary SchoolSt Helens£133,329£179,50034.63
Stoke Prior First SchoolWorcestershire£256,074£344,10034.38
Anton Junior SchoolHampshire£231,715£311,31634.35
The Croft Primary SchoolSwindon£214,086£284,58132.93
Springdale First SchoolPoole£391,561£519,20232.60
Brierley Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary SchoolBarnsley£105,247£138,99932.07
Copley Primary SchoolCalderdale£159,937£209,96031.28
Hall Green Infant SchoolBirmingham£195,361£252,44429.22
Wortham Primary SchoolSouth Norfolk£247,884£320,30529.22
Ashton-on-Ribble St Andrew’s Church of England Primary SchoolLancashire£153,764£198,32628.98
Valley View Primary SchoolSouth Tyneside£130,181£167,42728.61
Darley Dale Primary SchoolDerbyshire£229,356£289,63126.28
Thames View Infants’ SchoolBarking and Dagenham£250,105£311,44824.53
Pewithall Primary SchoolHalton£130,638£161,38923.54
St Michael and All Angels Catholic Primary SchoolKnowsley£100,153£122,91722.73
Victoria Park Junior SchoolTrafford£173,157£212,38622.66

The following table shows the schools that offer better value for money to live near to, in terms of paying little or no premium on the average property price for the local area:

SchoolLocal authority areaAverage property price for local area (£)Average property price in streets close to school(£)Percentage difference %
The Mayflower Primary SchoolEssex£165,236£160,361-2.95
Henry Cavendish Primary SchoolLambeth£790,323£771,374-2.40
Highfields Primary SchoolLeicester£119,821£117,500-1.94
Elmore Green Primary SchoolWalsall£136,606£136,424-0.13
Orleans Primary SchoolRichmond upon Thames£746,177£755,3921.23

 

Alex Gosling, CEO of HouseSimple.com comments: “One of the most valuable gifts we can give our children is a good education, and many parents will go to great lengths to get their children a place at the best local state-funded primary school. But there is a price to pay for the best free schooling.

“Private education is out of reach for many families, which is why there is high demand for places at top rated state primary schools. But there aren’t enough places to go around, which has led property prices in the catchment areas of popular primary schools to rocket in recent years.

“Attending an outstanding state school can offer an education as good as, if not better, than paying to go private, but with property prices close to the best state schools commanding average premiums of 18%, paying the price to live close by certainly doesn’t equate to a free education.”