5 top tips for finding a new school | CPS Homes

5 top tips for finding a new school

Nathan Walker, Sales Director at CPS Homes in CardiffNathan Walker, Sales Director, talks us through several tips you should consider following when searching for a new school (and family home!)...

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes.

Parents are faced with many tough decisions in life, one of which is choosing which school their children go to.

In fact, the choice of school is so important it often dictates which area of the city a new family home is purchased.

Whether you’re moving to a new country, city or town, or simply researching local schools, there’s no doubt you’ll want to ensure your children are given the very best start in life in the new school. Demand for leading schools tends to be extremely high every year, and the same goes for finding a suitable home in a popular catchment area as prices can be driven up due to location, and properties that tick each and every box for a new family can sometimes be hard to come by.

So, what can you do to help you find a suitable new school for your children?

Here are 5 tips….

1. Begin researching schools ASAP

Whether you’re looking at schools that are in and around your area or city or wanting to know what’s available in other places you’re interested in moving to, it’s vital that you try to get a head start by researching the local schools as soon as possible. Along with the track record of the school, also check out the surrounding catchment areas and make sure transportation is viable. Look at property prices within walking distance, as if they are out of budget, you’ll want to ensure there’s easy access to the school via car or public transport. If your children are young, it’s also worth thinking further ahead and considering the nearby secondary school options as well.

2. If you’re buying, work out if your budget meets the catchment area prices

We’ve mentioned that property prices in highly sought-after school catchment areas can be high, so if you’re looking to buy (or rent) a property that’s close to your number one school of choice, it’s vital that you ensure it makes sense financially. There are potentially plenty of other great schools in another area that is more affordable if you find yourself being priced out, so make sure you understand which catchment areas your budget can comfortably take you to.

Read: Parents are willing to spend more to live in a school catchment area

3. Narrow down to your favourite select few schools

Each city has a huge number of schools, so it’s easy to be overwhelmed by choice. Take Cardiff as an example - according to Level The Playing Field, a campaign for fair funding for schools in Wales, as of 2022 there are a total of 123 schools including primary, secondary, special, and Welsh-speaking. That’s a lot of schools and there are likely to be several within close proximity to each other at times. So, it’s definitely worth dwindling things down to just a select few - notably your standout school and then a few fall-back options in case your number one choice isn’t possible.

For a good overview of all schools in any given area you could browse the useful The Good Schools Guide website.

4. Figure out the best time to move

The application process for each type of school is different, with some processes beginning almost a full year ahead of the reception start date. This is why it’s so important to do your research early well ahead of time and have any necessary house move all mapped out in advance - you can’t simply contact a school a couple of weeks or months beforehand to see if your child can attend. There’s a lengthy application process with appropriate admission criteria that needs to be met.

To familiarise yourself with the application processes, admission criteria’s, and other helpful information related to school applications in Cardiff, check out the Applying For a School Place section of the Cardiff Council website.

5. What else do you want the family home to offer?

Although local schools and house prices may be of paramount importance to you, there will also be other things you’ll want to factor in when coming to a final decision. Do you have to commute to the school or your place of work and if so, is it within reason? Do you like the feel of the local community? Is it important for you to have family and friends living within easy reach? Are all other important amenities nearby? Does the property have everything you need and want, such as enough bedrooms for a growing family and a garden for the dog and children to play in? Weigh up everything that you’d like the area and family home to offer you to help you reach a decision.

Read: Best areas to live in Cardiff for a family

With so much to think about, why not speak with one of our expert property agents here at CPS Homes? With extensive knowledge of the Cardiff property market and what each area of the city offers, you can be sure your new home search is in the very best hands. Contact us today by calling 02920 668585, e-mailing enquiries@cpshomes.co.uk or by popping into one of our three branches.

06 July 2022

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