It’s a trend that has been around for years, and it doesn’t appear to be going away. Many families with small children are moving to catchment areas because of the increased competition for spaces in highly rated schools. One quarter of UK families changed their address in order to get a school place. One in six UK families have bought or rented an additional home within a highly sought-after school catchment area.

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Santander conducted a survey that found some families would pay more money for a property near desirable schools. The average amount people were willing to pay was 18% more than the norm, which is equivalent to an extra £32,000 on average.

Parents in London are willing to pay even more, adding an extra £77,000 to the asking price to get a desirable location near a school with a high rating from Ofsted. Parents are prepared to sacrifice their lifestyles and finances to secure a place in a school catchment area.

For schools looking to attract parents, they need to focus on School Prospectus Design. For help, contact

Each buyer has a list of criteria they are looking for in a house. For families with small children, the number one item on their wish list will be a home located within a specific school catchment. Some towns and cities are blessed with a wealth of great schools, so you can choose any area within the town to live in and still have access to a good education.

Most state schools in England accept students within a specific area, based on their proximity to the school. A family’s proximity to the school will increase their chances of getting a place. The baby boom in England is adding to the pressure on the available school places, particularly for primary schools.

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Many families rent second homes in catchment areas instead of buying a second house. It is dangerously close to violating local rules for school admission criteria. Many families have been caught trying to cheat by using the temporary address as the main address of the child. Mail-drop addresses are also a major problem.

Many local authorities require proof of payment of council taxes and information from the electoral register as proof of residence. It doesn’t stop people from buying or renting another property for the purpose of submitting an application.

Families with younger children also consider moving, and 17% are willing to purchase or rent a secondary property to be able to live in the desired catchment.

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