The Telegraph reports that parents are paying more than £50,000 in order to move to catchment areas with outstanding schools, raising fears that the country’s top state schools are becoming selective according to family wealth.
A survey of more than one million homes across England has revealed that parents are paying vast property premiums to move home. In London the price squeeze is even more pronounced – with parents paying upwards of £80,000 in order to move close to a top-rated school.
Graham Brady, chair of the Conservative Party’s 1922 Committee, said the research underscored the case for new grammar schools, which he argued would ease pressure on existing schools and provide fairer choice for parents unable to relocate.
“There is nothing fair about allocating school places according to the ability of parents to buy a house in the catchment area,” he told The Telegraph.
His comments echo those made by the Education Secretary Justine Greening, who has called for the introduction of new grammar schools in order to provide more pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds with a first-rate education.
With house prices increasing annually, the competition for outstanding school places means that even parents moving from areas with ‘good’ schools to the those with a top Ofsted grade are paying a 12 percent premium, or £37,000 on average.
It comes as recent Ofsted data revealed that the 86 percent of English primary schools rated outstanding are now oversubscribed, whilst 62 percent have been awarded ‘good’ status.
Commenting on the research, Miles Shipside, Rightmove’s housing expert, said: “Looking for the right home near the right school is one of the most important factors that home-hunters tell us they look for when they’re thinking of moving.”
Will the introduction of new grammar schools be the answer? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter ~ Tamsin
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