When should parents move to be in the right school catchment areas?

It has been reported that a quarter of UK parents move house to ensure they are in the right catchment area for the best schools for their children. If you are considering moving house to ensure your children get into the school you would like them to go to, there are a few things that you need to consider.

We regularly help our clients market and sell their properties in good time to ensure they are in the right location for their children’s education. Using this experience, we’ve put together a useful guide detailing the process of moving into a school catchment area:

Average time it takes to complete

On average, in the United Kingdom it takes 91 days from the point of sale agreed to exchanging contracts. Although sometimes this may not always be the case depending on if there are any hold ups and how many people are in the chain, it is always best to list your home as soon as possible.

Application deadlines for schools are in January (Primary Schools) and October (Secondary Schools) so you will need to be able to add your new address to these applications in order to register for the catchment area.

With this being the case, July is the best time of year to look at moving house to ensure your children are in the correct catchment area. This is because August is the most popular time to buy and sell, so we advise that you get your property ready and listed with us in time for it to go online in August.

With more people buying and selling during this period, we would expect your home to sell quicker than usual, ensuring you can get your new address onto your school applications.

School ratings on prices

One thing to consider when looking at moving into a new catchment area is house prices. The Department of Education undertook a study that shows schools with outstanding and good OFSTED ratings push up house prices in their catchment area by an average of 8%. The study also showed that well performing schools put up house prices in the same way as high speed broadband and or being near a rail station does.

This indicates the return on investment could be higher when you sell in years to come but you need to ensure you are ready to potentially purchase a property of higher value than your current home.

Catchment areas

There is increased competition for housing in the catchment areas of well performing schools. Ensure that you are ahead of the curve by buying and selling your property in good time, as it can be difficult to purchase homes in desirable catchment areas. In short, it is never too early to plan ahead.

However, another thing to consider is that catchment areas are forever changing and could even shrink from year to year, so whilst a home may be in the catchment area one year, the next year it may not be, so make sure the home you are buying is well within the area you are looking to move to.

Find your local school catchment area on our website with our local school checker, on each property listing you are able to see which school is the closest, as well as further information such as latest OFSTED results, GCSE results and parents opinions.

Get in touch

If you are looking to move to ensure your child gets into a certain school, get in contact with us to discuss your options and we will be able to best advise you on your next steps.

Give us a call on 01403 272022 or visit our high street branch at 2-6 East Street, Horsham.

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