Public or state? Sporty or musical? Stage or forest school? There are so many factors to consider when choosing the perfect fit for your child – and it can prove to be a tricky task. On top of all this, decisions around education can influence where you decide to put down your family roots.
In the UK, we are fortunate to have a number of outstanding schools which form our educational system. It goes without saying that competition for homes near the best schools is fierce. For state schools, it is those all-important catchment areas and transport routes that cause hotspots, while for public school parents, there’s still a desire to be close by to attend sports matches and plays, and a need to be near good transport links to the school.
Top schools draw in lots of families to their city, town or village; they provide a sense of community which can be invaluable as your child grows up. From PTAs to 11+, sports days to nativity plays, parents and children alike develop networks of local friends with the school at the centre. Schools also provide sports facilities, plenty of green space and excellent public transport in their areas.
Finding a family home near an outstanding school can be a minefield. So, with this in mind, we’ve found five for you:
It is not breaking news that Kent is home to a number of highly regarded primary and senior schools. In fact, families have long flocked the county hoping to get into some of the very best ones. But, if we had to pick one town, it would be Tonbridge. The Judd School and Tonbridge Grammar School both boast ‘outstanding’ ratings by Offsted.
This country home is just a short drive from most of the town’s school gates.
Chelmsford has long been dubbed a great city for commuters into the capital. But, it is actually the selection of outstanding schools that is a major draw for families to the area. There’s two selective grammars, King Edward VI, and Chelmsford County High School for girls, and a good selection of comprehensives – Moulsham High, The Boswells and St John Paynes just to name a few. For private, New Hall is a great option.
You’ll find this beautiful Georgian home less than half a mile from the city centre.
Britain’s smallest county has a lot to offer in such a compact space. For one, the county is full of excellent independent schools, including an outstanding one in one of its prettiest market towns, Uppingham School. If you’d prefer state, Catmose College can be found down the road in Oakham.
If you wanted to live close by, this charming stone property could be a good fit.
Ottery St Mary
This Devon town is fortunate to be close to Colyton Grammar, which falls in the top 15 best state schools in the country. Many families from across East Devon and Dorset opt to send their child there. But, if you don’t want to make the drive 11 miles out of the town, there’s also an outstanding comprehensive in Ottery St Mary itself, The King’s School.
Situated between the two, so you get the best of both worlds, is this beautifully converted bungalow.
Harrogate has a great education options all the way through from 4-18 so makes is an attractive area for families. For ages 3-11, St Wilfrid’s Catholic Primary School and Staveley Community Primary are the usual options, and, for secondary, there’s an outstanding co-ed academy, Harrogate Grammar School.
Clevedon is a beautifully family home on the south side of the town.