Bill Spreckley of Stacks Property Search says, “Schools are one of the biggest reasons for moving house. As many as 50% of our clients in the home counties, M4 and M40 corridor, Devon, Dorset and Northamptonshire are moving because of schooling.
“Many exceptional state schools are heavily oversubscribed, and it’s not always guaranteed that just because you live within the catchment area your child will get a place. Buyers should do some proper research before making moving decisions based on assumptions.
“Starting the process early is to be advised. Stitching together houses and schools can be a complicated process, and application dates by which time you need to have a fixed address add to the stress. Parents of pre-school or early primary school aged children should focus on secondary schools – this is the prize. Almost without exception you’ll find that a good secondary school has a range of good primary schools feeding it, and you have more choice when they’re younger. It will make your job easier if you accept that a move during the primary years is acceptable.
“Buyers have historically looked for a school before searching for a property. But the current market arguably makes finding a house more difficult than selecting a school. We are finding that more buyers are having to take a leap of faith when it comes to the school as they try to secure a suitable property.
“I’m increasingly finding that buyers are searching for both aspects simultaneously and, through necessity, are being more flexible about their choice of school. Our advice would be to be very aware of the general school situation in a particular area, but to try to avoid fixating on a particular school unless there’s a very specific need.”