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Moving House For A Good School
Competition over good schools is so hot these days that an increasing number of parents are looking at moving home in order to secure what they want for their children. Government league tables have highlighted the difference between schools in any one area. This has lead to schools being under far more scrutiny than ever before. Logically parents want what’s best for their kids and will always feel somewhat short-changed at the idea of settling for anything substandard. Proximity to a particular school will not always mean an automatic ticket to attend so parents will look at all their options.
Every year there are discussions between parents as to lengths others have gone to in order to get a good school. There are rumours concerning entry procedures and how others have supposedly played the system. Increasingly common is short-term renting of a property so as to achieve local residency near a good school. Local Education Authorities (LEAs) have begun to look more closely at the practice and have started to challenge parents who they suspect have taken this approach. For some the alternative is to gain entry to a good local grammar or to face up to paying for a private school.
Parents should really look at the costs of moving against those of staying put and paying for private education. If parents were already thinking of moving, then perhaps it makes sense to kill two birds with one stone. If the move is purely for schooling reasons then avoiding a large step up the ladder is the key. Even with slightly higher prices in the desired area, the cost of moving can actually be less than paying for private school. But getting over ambitious on house type and size will make the move expensive. Before doing anything though it’s worth exploring to see if any scholarships or bursaries are likely. This could bring the cost of private schooling down considerably. If a move is likely to benefit younger siblings then moving will be a far more worthwhile approach to take.
Obviously moving comes with all the costs of buying and selling. Solicitors, Estate Agents, Removals Fees and Stamp Duty all add up. Is the mortgage portable or will moving bring with it redemption penalties? Parents need to be certain that the school they are pursuing is well worth the effort and the costs involved. It’s also worth looking at the trends suggested by Ofsted reports. Although lower down the league tables is a particular school improving or indeed declining in its performance. Is the Local Authority planning to improve schools by building new ones or renovating those already there? Although Government building projects have been cut back recently, some areas are still managing to fund such schemes. Any changes will inevitably effect how education is delivered and can quickly change the desirability map of an area.
House prices in an area with a good school may well be at a premium especially if the local school is highly prized. Properties in the catchment area of really good state schools are often as much as 20% more expensive than those beyond the catchment. On the flip side the longer term investment potential could be good assuming the school maintains its cherished status.