Tue 01 Nov 2022
Paul Bennett, Director
When you think about living in the very centre of London, the image of life with school-age children doesn’t always spring to mind. The capital is, however, packed full of families who have always lived in London or who have arrived in the city for professional reasons. Even in the City of Westminster – home to the seat of power and policy making – the school run is in action every morning and afternoon.
The Behr & Butchoff team only has to gaze out of its St. John’s Wood branch window to confirm how London retains its allure among families. We were, therefore, very interested in a new study by Little Ones London. It set out to determine where in England had the highest concentration of schools rated ‘outstanding’ (the top accolade) by Ofsted – the Government’s department responsible for inspecting and grading educational facilities.
Out of more than 150 areas in England, all the top spots were taken by London locations. Behr & Butchoff’s estate agents weren’t surprised to see that the City of Westminster was ranked in fifth position, with more than 34% of its schools rated as ‘outstanding’ by inspectors.
The City of Westminster incorporates some of the most cosmopolitan and sophisticated neighbourhoods in London, including St. John’s Wood. Other areas falling within the City of Westminster include Marylebone, where our estate agents are selling this two-bedroom apartment in the ultra-exclusive Marylebone Square development, as well as Maida Vale, Little Venice, Belgravia, Regent’s Park and Hyde Park.
As a team, we often help families move to the area because they have been recommended a particular school. Many of the City of Westminster’s best educational establishments are over-subscribed and parents often stand the best chance of securing a place for their child by moving as close to their desired school as possible. Some of the most in-demand schools in Behr & Butchoff’s catchment include:
· St. Saviour’s CofE Primary School
· The St Marylebone CofE School
· Ark Atwood Primary School
· Christ Church Bentinck CofE Primary School
· Paddington Academy
· Ark King Solomon Academy
· Westminster Academy
· L'Ecole Bilingue Elementaire
· St George's Catholic School
· St Augustine's Federated Schools: CE High School
The timing of a move is also critical, as each London borough will have a closing date for school applications. In the City of Westminster, parents applying for a reception class place in September 2023 need to have submitted their application by 15th January 2023. Parents whose children start secondary school in 2024 will need to file their application by the end of October 2023.
Behr & Butchoff’s top 5 tips for securing a school place
If you are heading to London with your family, our advice will help you stand the best chance of securing a place at an ‘outstanding’ rated school:-
1. Contact the school directly to establish whether they are oversubscribed or have a catchment area, which will identify the best streets and/or postcodes to live in in order to secure a place.
2. Register with Behr & Butchoff for properties for sale and to rent that fall within the desired catchments – we notify our registered buyers and tenants of forthcoming properties before they are released to the mass market.
3. Confirm the deadline for primary and secondary school applications with the London borough in charge – usually this is the end of January for primary school starters and the end of October for children starting secondary school.
4. If moving to a new area with school-age children, ask the local schools for their in-year admissions procedure and enquire about any waiting lists, as you may not be guaranteed an immediate place.
5. If moving home specifically with a school’s application deadline in mind, ensure this date is communicated to all the estate agents and conveyancing solicitors involved. Most schools will want at least a solicitor’s confirmation of exchange or a signed copy of a tenancy agreement as proof that the family already resides in or will imminently move to the catchment area.
Behr & Butchoff’s estate agents are only too happy to help families settle in the St. John’s Wood vicinity. Please contact us for available family homes within the catchments of the very best schools.