The Barratt London School Guide

Sep 06, 2018
The Ultimate London School Guide to Buy a Property
Last year it was revealed that
over a quarter of UK parents move to a new house to live in the catchment areas of ‘better’ schools. So high is the reported demand, that in the most desirable areas prices for homes in London were being pushed up by close to £27,000. To help parents and guardians of children set for school, Barratt London has collated the vital statistics concerning property and schools into one handy place for your benefit.

Jump to full data.

 This resource includes:

  • The latest OFSTED reports by Local Authority and Borough
  • Current school capacity, the schools that are running overcapacity and projected school demand up to 2027/28
  • The Boroughs of London where you are most likely to get your first preference school (primary and secondary)
  • School trend analysis
  • Property prices (May 2018 HPI) and property trend analysis

School Performance: London vs England

Starting with how London compares to the rest of England, the research brings positive news for Londoners with school aged children. Based on OFSTED averages by region, the boroughs of London had the highest percentage of OFSTED rated outstanding schools at 32%. This comfortably beats the North East and North West (joint second place) with an OFSTED outstanding percentage of 23%.

London also had the lowest percentage of schools that OFSTED deemed ‘requiring improvement’ or ‘inadequate’ – only 6% and 2% respectively.

The table below details the results:

Region Outstanding % Good % Requires Improvement % Inadequate %
London (All Boroughs) 32 60 6 2
North East 23 62 12 3
North West 23 64 10 3
England (Average) 21 65 11 4
South East 21 68 9 2
West Midlands 18 66 11 5
Yorks and Humber 17 63 14 5
East Midlands 17 66 12 5
East of England 17 67 11 4
South West 17 66 12 4

The good news continues for London; since 2010, the capital has seen a 9.03% increase in the number of schools (combined primary and secondary), while the rest of England has only seen a rise of 0.9%.

This increase in the number of schools has corresponded with a dramatic rise in the number of school places made available (primary and secondary), which has gone up by 21.24%. By comparison, the rest of England has only seen the number of school places increase by 7.88%.

Such a discrepancy in the number of schools and school places explains the next set of figures: the number of schools (primary and secondary) that are running over-capacity in London has decreased, while the number of schools running over-capacity in the rest of England has increased by 6.36%.

It’s therefore clear that the capital is performing very well with regards to state level education.

Analysing London’s Boroughs: School Performance

With the comparisons to the rest of the country complete, we can move on to the statistics everyone wants to know; which Boroughs have the best OFSTED rating?

The standout winner in this category with a staggering 61.5% of the borough compromising ‘outstanding’ schools is Kensington and Chelsea. With zero percent deemed to ‘require improvement’ or be ‘inadequate’, according to OFSTED, this is the best borough to send your child for their education.

However, such school performance does come at a price - the most recent UK House Price Index records average values of £1,326,653. And even if you can afford the expensive price tag, there is no guarantee of getting the school you want. The first-choice percentage is the lowest in London at just 68.4% for primary schools and the second lowest in London for secondary schools at just 54.3%.

To get the best value for money, the data points to the borough of Harrow. With 47.5% of all schools deemed outstanding by OFTSED (third highest in the dataset), you have a much higher chance of getting the school you want - 85.5% first preference for primary schools, 69% for secondary schools. The fact that average house prices in this borough are far more affordable at under £500,000 (£468,464) all combines to make it a great value borough to set down roots for the future.

If you’re struggling to imagine life outside of inner London, then Lambeth is the alternative pick. Just 5.08% of primary schools are deemed to be running over capacity (the fifth lowest in the dataset), the borough has the fifth highest percentage of outstanding schools (42.7%) and property prices are also the fifth cheapest in Inner London at £503, 273.

The table below details the top 10 boroughs with the highest average OFSTED rating (combined primary and secondary):

Region Borough OFSTED Outstanding % First Choice (Primary) % First Choice (Secondary)% House Prices (May 2018)
Inner London Kensington and Chelsea 61.5 68.4 54.3 £1,326,653
Outer London Richmond upon Thames 49.1 88 61.8 £670,655
Outer London Harrow 47.5 85.5 69 £468,464
Inner London Wandsworth 42.9 76.9 56.9 £605,295
Inner London Lambeth 42.7 84.2 55.2 £503,273
Inner London Hammersmith and Fulham 42.6 76.6 51.4 £713,014
Outer London Kingston upon Thames 39.2 82.7 69 £495,357
Inner London Tower Hamlets 38.0 89.2 71 £483,069
Outer London Barnet 37.4 84.1 67.6 £546,309
Outer London Redbridge 36.8 88 66.9 £421,641

Analysing London’s Boroughs: Property Price Impact

As we’ve seen from previous research, demand from parents for the best schools has been found to push up the value of properties considerably. But how much do OFSTED averages correlate to house price values?

For this research, we grouped the boroughs of London by the percentage of OFSTED rated ‘outstanding’ schools. We finished with five clear groups, those where the percentages of outstanding schools were in the 60's, 40's, 30's, 20’s and 10’s. The higher the percentage, the better the level of education being provided (according to OFSTED).

As the table below indicates, the higher the percentage of OFSTED rated outstanding schools in a borough, the higher the average property price. Excluding the difference between the 40-49% bracket and the 60+ percentage bracket, there is an average property price drop of £87,127 from each OFSTED rated outstanding bracket. Something to consider when making a purchase.
OFSTED Outstanding (%) Average House Prices Difference in Property Prices Number of Boroughs in bracket
60+ £1,326,653 - 1
40-49 £592,140 £734,513 5
30-39 £517,120 £75,020 13
20-29 £466,934 £50,186 10
10-19 £330,758 £136,176 3
AVERAGE - £87,127* -

*Excluding the difference in property price in the brackets 40-49% and 60%.

Explore the data for yourself

Of course, there is much more to explore, use our interactive tool below to discover:
  • Which boroughs have the highest projected demand for school places (primary and secondary)
  • Which boroughs have the most schools running over pupil capacity (primary and secondary)
  • The boroughs where you are the most likely to get your first-choice school (primary and secondary)

If you’re looking for the ideal new family home, search online to find your perfect property today. If you're a first time buyer looking for a starter home then our guide to homebuying is sure to answer some of your questions and alleviate some initial angst.

Data Notes:

Data sourced from ONS and GOV.UK.