As families across the country breathe a sigh of relief now that the autumn term’s underway, some will be contemplating moving close to a favoured school. Just like school places themselves, competition for properties near the best educational establishments is fierce but you can take comfort in the fact that your new home will more than hold its value. "Almost 60% of those with pre-school or school-aged children rank proximity to schools as a top two priority when thinking about their next home," says Frances McDonald, research analyst at Savills. "Parents often pay over the odds to be close to highly regarded schools." All these homes for sale fall into this category, so why not take a look?
1. The Hawthorns, Elswick, Lancashire, from £314,995
The buyers of the last few three and four-bedroom houses left at this new development can use Kingswood’s innovative Shape Your Home concept to select the layout that best suits their lifestyle. They are assured of a warm welcome, as pupils at nearby Great Eccleston Copp Primary have designed special cards to greet them when moving in. All state schools within a four-mile radius are judged as outstanding or good by Ofsted. For more information, contact Kingswood Homes.
2. Northall, Buckinghamshire, offers over £700,000
Grade II listed Iolanthe Cottage is in a rural hamlet in the catchment of Aylesbury Grammar, a selective school founded over 400 years ago and deemed outstanding by Ofsted. The Georgian property, which was once part of the National Trust’s Ashbridge estate, has been beautifully renovated by the current owners and includes three bedrooms, two large reception rooms, exposed timber beams and wooden floors. Tring, Berkhamsted and Leighton Buzzard stations are all within easy reach. Available through Nash Partnership.
Read more: 8 homes with swimming pools to splash out on
3. Sedgefield, County Durham, offers over £800,000
Two primary schools – one rated by Ofsted as outstanding and the other as good – and Sedgefield Community College, a high-performing state secondary, are within half a mile of this sprawling Grade II listed, late eighteenth century house. Owned by the same family for almost 60 years, it’s in the heart of a market town and has seven bedrooms, four bathrooms, and six reception rooms, with sash windows and original fireplaces throughout. There’s also an adjoining, recently modernised two-bedroom cottage, a lovely garden and stables. Find out more from Strutt & Parker.
4. Upper Rissington, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, £950,000
Dunn House is a four-bedroom stone house in an idyllic location on the edge of a village and overlooking fields on both sides. Combining traditional Cotswold charm with a contemporary twist, it has four bedrooms, a family bathroom and two ensuites, a kitchen/dining/family room with an island, a sitting room with a wood-burning stove and an office/snug. As luck would have it, it’s in the catchment of a primary school judged as outstanding by Ofsted and a similarly rated secondary. Contact Fine & Country.
5. Stable Green, Mitford, Northumberland, offers over £1m
Stable Green Cottage should tick a lot of boxes for busy families as it’s in a historic village, next to a Norman church and castle and offers plenty of room to work and play. Includes five bedrooms, a kitchen/breakfast room, a family room and two garden rooms – one recently fitted with a wine cellar – and a treehouse in the well-kept garden that leads down to the river Wansbeck. The school bus for the King Edward VI Academy in Morpeth, one of the best secondaries in Northumberland, stops outside the church. Get the lowdown from Sanderson Young.
6. Winkfield Park, Bracknell, Berkshire, from £575,000
This gated development comprises 15 homes - eight two-bedroom apartments and penthouses, one three-bedroom apartment, one one-bedroom and four three-bedroom coach houses and one five-bedroom detached farmhouse - set within the grounds of Winkfield Park Polo Club. If your kids manage to secure a place at Lambrook, an independent prep school that’s directly opposite, they’ll be in very esteemed company as Price George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are among the new pupils. On the market through Savills.
7. Cobham, Surrey, £1.15m
Cobham Free School – a state school that follows the private school curriculum, but with no fees – and ACS International School are a two-minute drive from this modern detached house. Arranged over three storeys and with no onward chain, it comprises four first floor bedrooms plus two more in the converted loft, two bathrooms, a dual aspect kitchen/dining room, a living room, conservatory and a south-facing garden, and comes with planning permission for an extension. Find out more from John D Wood.
8. Whetstone, London N20, offers over £1.65m
A short bus ride from Queen Elizabeth’s School, a boys’ grammar regarded as one of London’s top-performing state schools, this substantial family house overlooks a golf course. There are four double bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen/breakfast room, a living/dining room with two sets of French doors into the south-facing garden, a family room and a useful study where the kids can do their homework in peace. Through Barnard Marcus.