Peterborough has the second most competitive schools catchment area in England according to new research

According to new research, Peterborough has the second most competitive school catchment area in England.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 5:48 am
(Photo credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire).

The research has been put together by mortgage broker Mojo Mortgages by analysing population data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and the latest inspection reports from Ofsted.

This has then revealed the towns and cities where competition for places at outstanding schools is most and least competitive as well as what these figures mean for parents and homeowners.

To establish the figures for each location, the research looked at the number of three and ten year olds in each town and city (likely to be applying for reception and year seven places in September 2022) and compared these to the amount of outstanding schools in the area based on Ofsted’s latest inspection reports. Locations with zero outstanding schools were not included in the study.

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When combining primary and secondary places to gauge an overall view, Peterborough had the second most competitive catchment areas with around 6,145 pupils potentially vying for places at the city’s four outstanding schools (1,536 pupils per outstanding school).

The top ten locations with the most competitive catchment areas for outstanding schools (primary and secondary combined):

Swindon (2,905 pupils per school)

Peterborough (1,536.3 pupils per school)

Bath (1,333 pupils per school)

Taunton (1,057.7 pupils per school)

Doncaster (948.3 pupils per school)

Coventry (944.2 pupils per school)

Derby (856 pupils per school)

Bradford (851 pupils per school)

York (813.6 pupils per school)

Colchester (790.7 pupils per school)

Richard Hayes, CEO and Co-Founder of Mojo Mortgages, said: “While the 2021/22 academic year may have only just begun, for the parents of three and ten year olds across the country, thoughts will already be turning to applications for September next year.

“We all want to give our children the access to the best possible education and a place at an outstanding school is an obvious way to maximise chances of doing this. However, it’s clear that the opportunities to secure a place at one of these schools does vary quite drastically across England.

“For those living in the most competitive areas and hoping to use catchment areas as a means of securing a place it’s important to be realistic about your chances of finding a property in the coming months. “Whereas for homeowners in these areas thinking about selling in the near future, this could be a prime opportunity to make your home even more attractive to families before it goes to market.”

Commenting on the research, Daniel Copley, Consumer Spokesperson at Zoopla, added: “The impact of school catchment areas on buyers can not be underestimated, with this factor even playing a deciding role for families choosing the location of their next home.

“In fact, our research shows that parents are willing to pay nearly £29,000 extra on average for a property within an outstanding school catchment area, while some families go as far as renting in an area to ensure they’re within the school catchment for the beginning of the school year.”