Taylor Scott International News
Nearly a third of parents have moved house in England to be in the catchment area for a good school, new research shows. Also 10% are willing to pay in excess of £50,000 for a property in a desirable school catchment area and 24% would consider renting an extra property in the catchment, according to research from price comparison firm Confused.com. It also shows that 18% admit that they started thinking about what school to send their child to before they were even born. The study suggests that inflated house prices in good state school catchment areas actually mean it may be cheaper for parents to send their children to local private schools. Compared to the average house price in England of £275,721, the typical price of a house close to Lowbrook Academy, Maidenhead, one of England’s best state schools, is £481,023. According to calculations, it would be cheaper for families to educate a child at a local private school than to borrow the money needed to move into the Lowbrook Academy catchment area. Many parents are even willing to ‘cheat the system’ to secure places at the most sought after schools in the country. Some 9% admit to having given a false address within the catchment area of a good school to ensure their child got a place there, while 24% would consider renting an additional property in the catchment area for a good school to help secure a place for their child. Other tactics that parents admit to adopting to help get their child into their school of choice include feigning religious observance to get into a well performing local school (7%) or falsely claiming that a sibling already attends a local school to increase their child’s chances of acceptance (4%). Some parents also admit that they would be willing to pay for extra tuition to try and nab a place at a well performing school (16%), while others admit that they would send their child to a nursery simply because it had links to a good primary school (27%). The race to secure a place at a good state school means that some parents are now making decisions on where they will live before their children are even of school age. Some 18% admit that they started thinking about what school to send their child to before they were even born, with a further 12% going as far as putting their unborn child’s name down on a school waiting list. The findings come amid mounting concerns over rising primary school populations leading to a shortage of school places for children. Recent figures from the Department of Education show that six primary schools have classes with just one teacher to 70 children, while nearly 100 have classes with at least 50 pupils. Analysis suggests that at the current rate, the number of pupils in large classes will reach almost half a million by 2020. ‘Although household finances remain stretched, it is significant to see from our research that a number… Continue reading →
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