The school catchment crisis

A look at how high Ofsted ratings are driving up house prices

A recent study conducted by, using Ofsted data, calculates just how much, on average, it will cost you to live within areas containing the most sought-after schools.
School admission rules are mainly based on location – the child needs to live in the catchment area in order to stand a chance at being accepted. However, the UK faces a problem where the number of school pupils outstrips the number of places available, meaning the school catchment crisis is more prevalent than ever.
So, to ensure their child is accepted, how much should parents expect to pay to live near the best primary and secondary schools out there? analysed the Ofsted ratings of 20,545 primary and secondary schools in England and found that the average house price increases considerably the better the local school. The average house price near an ‘outstanding’ primary and secondary school stands at £331,605; this decreases to an average of £292,933 for a ‘good’ Ofsted rating while houses in school catchment zones with an Ofsted rating of ‘requires improvement’ and ‘inadequate’ cost an average of £253,121 and £235,242, respectively
Top 10 schools with the cheapest houses nearby
When looking at the schools with an outstanding rating the study found that, although the average price to pay to live locally came in at £331,605, there are several postcodes where you could live with house prices well under £100,000.
In total there are 4,168 schools that have received the top-level Ofsted rating. Here are the top 10 with the cheapest house prices nearby.

On the other hand, the research also reveals that, in London, you could be paying up to £1.7 million just to be accepted into the best schools locally. The data reveals that the average house price in London close to an outstanding primary and secondary is £635,949, whereas living in an area with a ‘good’ Ofsted rating reduces the average house price by £41,069.
Buying a house in an area near a school that has received an inadequate Ofsted rating is considerably cheaper, costing £461,273, on average.
Top 10 schools with the highest house prices nearby

England’s top-rated schools vs. house prices
Birmingham is home to the highest number of top-rated schools (160) – and average house prices by Ofsted rating here fall below the national average, at £248,504. However, Sunderland is the cheapest place to live if you want your child to attend a high-performing school, with house prices costing an average of just £114,157. Buying a house near an outstanding school in Western Central London, on the other hand, will cost you a staggering £1,345,614.
Unsurprisingly, the most expensive postcode for an outstanding school is SW7. Covering the area of South Kensington, and part of Knightsbridge, living in SW7 will set you back a whopping £1,795,725, on average.
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