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Families opt for renting to secure top schools – claim

The managing editor of The Good Schools Guide has outlined the measures that some families take to secure a place at a leading school in London. 

On the latest episode of Winkworth’s The Property Exchange podcast, Melanie Sanderson, discussed how London’s top schools and leading Home Counties boarding schools have maintained their global allure and what this means for the housing market.

She said families are opting to rent so they can move fast to buy a home close to London’s top schools while others take to pacing the area to find a house that falls within leading state school catchments.


Sanderson said parents should err on the side of great caution before upping sticks and moving house in the hope their child will win a place because the chances are tiny, adding: “In the eyes of parents, there is a very clear hierarchy. At the top, there is St Paul’s, Westminster and, very close behind them, is King’s College School in Wimbledon.

"For girls, St Paul’s again, Godolphin & Latymer and a number of others across London. The schools are ferociously difficult to get into and even if your child gets a place, they really need to be able to keep up.

“With international families, we have those who are relocating for work and others who are education tourists who are moving here so their children can attend London’s best independent schools. The cachet of the major public schools is the most important factor of all.” 

There is also a growing trend for children to be commuting to a prep school outside London. 

Winkworth’s chief executive Dominic Agace told the podcast: “Which comes first – the prime area or the school? Just look around London where the famous schools are and the neighbourhoods are equally famous – St Paul’s in Barnes, Highgate School, the American School in St John’s Wood.

“These are internationally renowned schools so it’s not only domestic demand that’s supporting property within these areas, it’s also high net worth families relocating to London from overseas.  There are streets where people rent to try to wait for a house to come up for sale. Availability is really the issue. There aren’t the houses coming up for sale in these areas.” 

Listen to the full podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-property-exchange/id1569362828 


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