A report published by MPs at the end of March indicated that the biggest school funding shortages in England since the 1990s are threatening to damage standards in schools. This may lead to increased competition for places within Ofsted rated good or outstanding schools, where demand is already extremely high.
Already a prime motivating factor for families looking to move house, the school equation may become an increasingly important factor as further funding cuts are made. Historically, being located within close proximity of a good school has consistently been amongst the top reasons for individuals choosing to move home – a fact further corroborated by research produced by Savills at the beginning of this year. Research from Savills has also identified that individuals are prepared to pay a premium for properties within the catchment areas of the most highly coveted schools.
Jane Bailey, sales manager at Bewley Homes, says: “Across a couple of our developments, we have received a number of enquiries from families whose prime motivation in moving to the area is getting their child into a particular schools, with other factors playing a less significant part in the decision making process. This has been evident at both our Holcombe House Gardens development in Sunningdale, which is close both to the international schools of ACS and TASIS in Egham, as well as Charters school in Ascot; and our Hartley Row development in Hartley Wintney, which is close to Grey House School and the recently expanded Greenfields Junior School (which has just been rated 186 in the Sunday Times top 250 schools).
“Certainly, if getting your child into a good school is a prime motivating factor, now would appear to be a good time to think about moving.”