Family homes near the UK's top comprehensives

Where to live for the best GCSEs


Parents will do almost anything to get their children into a good school, with some faking a religion or camping out with the grandparents to try and satisfy admission criteria.

One of the commonest tactics is simply to move house into the right catchment area - although this can be expensive. Research two years ago showed that houses near desirable schools cost an average of £32,000 more.

Parents paying £32,000 more to live in good school catchment areas

All the same, according to research from Santander Mortgages, more than a quarter of parents with children of school age have either bought or rented a property specifically to get into catchment.

Here are family houses in the catchment areas of the top ten comprehensives for GCSE results.

Thomas Telford School, Shropshire

Three-bed house near Thomas Telford School, Shropshire

You can buy into the catchment area of the UK's best-performing comprehensive for just £154,950 - well under the average UK house price. This three-bedroom detached house is perfect for a family, although the third bedroom might be a little small for a hulking fifth-former. There's a separate dining room, a garage and storage area; contact agent Foden Property for more information.

Gordon's School, Surrey

Four-bed house near Gordon's School, Surrey

Gordon's, which takes state boarders as well as day pupils, has one of the tightest catchment areas of any school. Even at 495 metres from the school gates - yes, the agents have measured that precisely - getting your child in isn't a done deal. That said, this is a lovely family home, with four bedrooms, a 22-foot kitchen/diner and an attractive rear garden with a summerhouse/office. It costs £780,000 through Purple Bricks.

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Dame Alice Owen's, Potters Bar

Four-bed house near Dame Alice Owen's, Potter's Bar

This 1930s four-bedroom semi is already pretty large, but has extension potential, say the agents. Within this year's catchment area for Dame Alice Owen's School in Potters Bar, it has an 80-foot garden and a garage. It costs £695,000 through agent Raine & Co.

Edgbarrow School, Berkshire

Six-bed house near Edgbarrow School, Berkshire

Within walking distance of Edgbarrow School, this imposing six-bedroom house in Crowthorne has room for even the largest family. There are two bathrooms and an extravagant five reception rooms - one converted from what was originally a garage - with a good-sized kitchen that leads onto a dining room. It's for sale through agent Premier Homes of Distinction for £970,000.

King David High School, Manchester

House near King David High School, Manchester

This three-bedroom semi is an easy walk from King David High School, a high-flying mixed Jewish Orthodox academy school. It could do with a lick of paint, but is in reasonable condition with double glazing to the front. There's a brick built outhouse with electric supply and plumbing for a washing machine; the house costs just £179,950 through agent Sellectlets.

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Hertfordshire and Essex High School, Bishop's Stortford

Edwardian home near Hertfordshire and Essex High School, Bishop's Stortford

This lovely Edwardian home is just yards from the highly-respected Hertfordshire and Essex High School, as well as Bishop's Stortford town centre. It has four double bedrooms and three receptions, all with high ceilings and lovely sash windows. There's a 120-foot south-facing garden for the kids to play; it costs £1.15 million through agent Wright & Co.

Watford Grammar for Boys, Watford

Six-bed house near  Watford Grammar for Boys, Watford

This six-bedroom house is just a few of minutes' walk from Watford Grammar for Boys - and less than a mile from Watford Grammar for Girls, come to that. It oozes character, with a wood-panelled hall and an attractive beamed kitchen. There's a large garden, backing onto Cassiobury Park; it costs £1,299,950 through agent Proffitt & Holt.

St John The Baptist RC School, Woking

Four-bed house near St John The Baptist RC School, Woking

A ten-minute walk from a top-ranking Catholic school, this four-bedroom end of terrace is for sale with no onward chain - ideal for a move in time for September. It has a good-sized living room and separate dining/family room, but only one bathroom. It's on a quiet road , and has a small but pretty garden; it costs £425,000 through Purple Bricks.

Emmanuel College, Gateshead

Two-bed house near Emmanuel College, Gateshead

Not one for a large family, this, but if you've just one child it's your best bet for getting them into Emmanuel College - which, despite controversy over the teaching of creationism, is an outstanding school. This pretty two-bedroomed semi has a lovely garden backing onto woodland, and costs just £115,000 through agent Red Hot Property.

St George's School, Harpenden

House near St George's School, Harpenden

This enormous family home is just a stone's throw from St George's School, which charges fees for boarders but is free for day pupils. It has five bedrooms and three receptions, including an enormous conservatory and a largeliving room. The kitchen is even bigger, with impressive ceiling beams. Unfortunately, it all costs an equally impressive £2,150,000, through agent John Curtis.

Quirky places to stay with the kids in the UK

Quirky places to stay with the kids in the UK