The cost of 'free schooling' on property prices!



  • Properties in the locality of Ofsted rated ‘outstanding’ schools cost families on average nearly a fifth (18%) more than other properties in the area

  • St Luke’s Primary School in Brighton and Hove commands an average premium of £151,121 to buy a property close to the top rated school

London, 26th May 2016 -- To secure a place at one of the country’s best performing state-funded primary schools comes at a price. According to research by online estate agents,, families are having to pay a premium of almost £44,000 to buy a property near primary schools judged as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted inspectors. looked at average property prices in catchment areas for 50 state-funded primary schools across England that received the highest rating by Ofsted in its latest report. These prices were then compared with average house prices for the whole postcode to see what premium families might have to pay to buy a property close to a top performing school.

The research revealed that average property prices in streets that are close to – and in the catchment area – of a primary school rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, are almost a fifth (18%) higher than average property prices for the area postcode. That means the price of the best ‘free’ schooling commands an average premium of £43,773 if you want to buy a property in the locality of a top primary school.

Of the primary schools commanding the biggest premiums to live near to, more than half are in the South of England. The schools adding the biggest premium to local property prices are St Luke’s Primary School in Brighton and Hove and Crowland Primary School in Haringey, adding 45% (£151,121) and 44% (£193,816) respectively.

But according to HouseSimple figures, there are some areas offering better value to live close to ‘outstanding’ schools. Properties surrounding The Mayflower Primary School in Essex, Henry Cavendish Primary School in Lambeth and Highfields Primary School in Leicester have recently sold without buyers having to pay a hefty premium.

The following table shows the highest average percentage premium paid to purchase a property near to, and in the catchment area, of a top Ofsted rated primary school:

School Local authority area Average property price for local area (£) Average property price in streets close to school (£) Percentage difference (%)
St Luke's Primary School Brighton and Hove £334,692 £485,813 45.15
Crowland Primary School Haringey £442,017 £635,833 43.85
Bodriggy Academy Cornwall £237,629 £321,000 35.08
Trowse Primary School Norfolk £257,025 £346,286 34.73
St Julie's Catholic Primary School St Helens £133,329 £179,500 34.63
Stoke Prior First School Worcestershire £256,074 £344,100 34.38
Anton Junior School Hampshire £231,715 £311,316 34.35
The Croft Primary School Swindon £214,086 £284,581 32.93
Springdale First School Poole £391,561 £519,202 32.60
Brierley Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School Barnsley £105,247 £138,999 32.07
Copley Primary School Calderdale £159,937 £209,960 31.28
Hall Green Infant School Birmingham £195,361 £252,444 29.22
Wortham Primary School South Norfolk £247,884 £320,305 29.22
Ashton-on-Ribble St Andrew's Church of England Primary School Lancashire £153,764 £198,326 28.98
Valley View Primary School South Tyneside £130,181 £167,427 28.61
Darley Dale Primary School Derbyshire £229,356 £289,631 26.28
Thames View Infants' School Barking and Dagenham £250,105 £311,448 24.53
Pewithall Primary School Halton £130,638 £161,389 23.54
St Michael and All Angels Catholic Primary School Knowsley £100,153 £122,917 22.73
Victoria Park Junior School Trafford £173,157 £212,386 22.66

The following table shows the schools that offer better value for money to live near to, in terms of paying little or no premium on the average property price for the local area:

School Local authority area Average property price for local area (£) Average property price in streets close to school(£) Percentage difference %
The Mayflower Primary School Essex £165,236 £160,361 -2.95
Henry Cavendish Primary School Lambeth £790,323 £771,374 -2.40
Highfields Primary School Leicester £119,821 £117,500 -1.94
Elmore Green Primary School Walsall £136,606 £136,424 -0.13
Orleans Primary School Richmond upon Thames £746,177 £755,392 1.23


Alex Gosling, CEO of comments: “One of the most valuable gifts we can give our children is a good education, and many parents will go to great lengths to get their children a place at the best local state-funded primary school. But there is a price to pay for the best free schooling.

“Private education is out of reach for many families, which is why there is high demand for places at top rated state primary schools. But there aren’t enough places to go around, which has led property prices in the catchment areas of popular primary schools to rocket in recent years.

“Attending an outstanding state school can offer an education as good as, if not better, than paying to go private, but with property prices close to the best state schools commanding average premiums of 18%, paying the price to live close by certainly doesn’t equate to a free education.”
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