Living near the best schools

Living near the best schoolsRyan has this first day at primary school today.

I’m writing this on Sunday afternoon and scheduling it to post tomorrow morning, so I can only assume the drop-off went well and he embraced a new school career with his usual good spirit and enthusiasm.

Hopefully.

With our eldest only 8 years old, we have a little while to go before we need to start thinking seriously about suitable secondary schools.

There is no doubt that the entire process of educating your children – everything from choosing schools to helping with homework – can be fraught with worry for parents.

Some new research by Lloyds Bank has found that it costs parents almost £41,000 extra to live in a home nearby to the top performance state secondary schools.

House prices in the postcode districts of the top 30 state secondary schools in England this year were an average of £40,728 higher than the neighbouring postcodes.

This is a 13% average uplift on house prices to live within the catchment area of the best state schools.

‘Best’ in this case is defined as those state secondary schools with the best GCSE results last year.

Their research found that average property prices have reached £344,446 in the postal districts of the top 30 state schools in England.

This is higher than their county averages of £303,738, by an average £40,728  or 13%.

As the quality of the school improves, so do the local house prices.

The postal districts of six of the 30 top state schools command a house price premium of over £125,000 compared to their surrounding locations.

Homes in the postal district of Beaconsfield High School in Beaconsfield have the largest premium with homes trading at £636,132 (186%) above the average house price in neighbouring areas (£342,166).

House prices in the postal district of The Henrietta Barnett School in Barnet trade at a premium of £418,860 (76%) – the second highest; followed by St. Olave’s and St. Saviour’s Grammar School in Orpington (£180,447) and the Tiffin schools in Kingston upon Thames (£137,665).

Now my Sociology lecturer always reminded us that correlation is not causation.

It could be that parents are willing (and able) to pay a significant premium to live within the catchment areas of these top performing state secondary schools.

It could also be the case that state secondary schools within the most expensive postcode districts are attracting students with greater academic potential due to their socioeconomic background and other advantages enjoyed in life.

What this research does suggest is that there is a price to be paid for living near the ‘best’ schools.

Parents need Financial Plans for this reason; it’s possible to factor in the direct and indirect cost of a state or private education, and ensure you provide the education you want for your children.

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About Martin Bamford

Martin Bamford is a Chartered Financial Planner, Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professional and published personal finance author. He works with elderly clients to provide advice on funding residential care fees, hosts the Informed Choice Podcast and is a keen ultra runner.
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