Moving to a new house to get your child into a good school is something that’s been going on for many years and doesn’t seem to be abating. With more competition than ever before for limited spaces at highly rated schools, the desire to move into catchment areas is a top priority for many families with young children. A quarter of UK families have changed address to obtain a school place for their children. As many as 1 in 6 have even bought or rented a second home within the boundaries of a sought-after catchment area.

A survey conducted by Santander also found that some families were prepared to pay a great deal of money to secure property close to desirable schools. The average amount that people were prepared to pay was 18% higher than the norm which equates to roughly an additional £32,000.

In London this amount is even higher, with parents prepared to pay an additional £77,000 on top of the asking price for a desirable area close to a highly Ofsted-rated school. As the competition for places seems stronger than ever, parents are willing to make considerable lifestyle and financial sacrifices to get their family into a catchment area.

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Every buyer will have criteria for what they want in a property and for families with young children, number one on that wish list is a home within a particular school catchment area. Thankfully, Cheltenham has an abundance of excellent schools which means a choice of any neighbourhood within the town will provide access to good education. To Buy a house in Cheltenham, visit

The majority of state schools in England and Wales accept pupils within a certain area based on proximity to the school. To get access to a desired school, a family must be within that range to increase their likelihood of being offered a place. England has experienced a baby boom which is further adding pressure to the number of school places available, especially in primary schools at the moment.

Some families have purchased a second property, with many choosing to rent a second home in a catchment area instead. This comes perilously close to breaking rules set by local authorities for school admission criteria. Applications are to be made from the child’s main residential address and many families have been caught out by trying to cheat the system. The use of mail-drop addresses is a big problem.

Therefore, many local authorities demand evidence of council tax payments and details from the electoral roll as proof of address. This doesn’t always prevent those buying or renting a second property to use in the application process.

Families of younger children are also considering the move, with 17% prepared to buy or rent a second property in order to qualify for the desired catchment area.