Any admissions-weary parent will tell you tales of families “outside catchment” for the primary school at the end of their road. If you’re due to go through state-primary admissions yourself, it’s likely you pounced on this year’s Sunday Times Schools Guide to primary and independent prep schools, and will know that an impressive five of the UK's top ten performing state-primaries are in London.
Parent or not, this report - based on three years of annual SATS exam results for 11-year-olds - is important for every potential seller, landlord, buyer or tenant across London. Here are the reasons why:
Sellers Fox Primary in Notting Hill sits at #1 on the list of 500. Others in the top ten are in Barnes, Finchley, Wimbledon, Woolwich and Putney. Consequently the value of your property will appreciate considerably if it’s marketable as a quality family home and located within a few hundred metres of any of these. It might be too late to sell your house in time for September 2017 (admissions close in January), but that halo effect is certainly good for another year.
Landlords It’s not too late for you; families poised to make a strategic move could at this very moment be searching rental listings in, say, W8.
Buyers If your next move will span your family’s formative years, do your homework. Schools featuring in the the top 500 year on year clearly have a successful formula. These schools will also be oversubscribed so have a “plan B” and move to an area with a generous mix of good schools. And if your prime property purchase demands substantial investment, remember what you’ll save on school fees. Do Make use of Dexters’ property listing maps of nearby schools and their oftsed rating.
Tenants If you’re able to move quickly you could be in the right postcode in time for 2017 admissions - but be prepared. Oversubscribed faith schools, for example, tend to require evidence of sustained local worship so always look at the school’s criteria.
Alastair McCall, Editor of The Sunday Times Schools Guide, said: “Whatever way we cut the data this year, at whatever level of attainment, Fox Primary emerged as the leading school in England. “Its success extends beyond the purely academic into all areas of the curriculum and beyond – the product of an enthusiastic, engaged and dynamic staff and outstanding leadership." Elsewhere in the capital, Barnes Primary School ranked third due to 81% of its students achieving Level 5 in reading, writing and maths in 2015, compared to 71% in 2014 and 63% in 2013. Akiva, a Jewish faith school in Finchley, came fifth, followed by Bishop Gilpin C of E Primary School in seventh. St Peter’s RC Primary School in Woolwich and All Saints’ C of E Primary School in Putney Common ranked eighth and ninth respectively.