How much would you pay to get your children into a good school?
Figures released today from Santander show parents are prepared to dig deep and pay over the odds for their home simply because it’s in a popular school catchment area.
According to the research, one in three parents with children under 10 claim moving within the catchment area is their top priority when house hunting. And they’re prepared to stump up an extra $12,141 to secure a home near the school of their choice.
And one in four parents with children aged 11 to 17 are prepared to pay an extra $11,500 for the catchment area privilege too.
But when it comes to putting a price on our kids’ education it’s mums who are prepared to stump up the most; claiming they’d pay an average $7,281 premium compared with dads who say they’d pay $4,456.
But before you risk running up debts to get your kids into the best school, check your chosen school’s admissions criteria, advisesthe Department of Education. You can do this through your local authority, and it’s worth doing as catchment boundaries can, and do, change annually. Although it’s not an overnight process, if you’re buying a property now; there’s no guarantee school catchment boundaries won’t have changed in say five years time.
So what can you do if you can’t afford to move house? What about getting a job at your chosen school to ensure your child gets on the priority list? A proposed amendment to the school admissions code means schools could give priority places to staff members’ children and this could include everyone from teachers, to cleaners and lunchtime supervisors.
And we’re probably all familiar with the practice of using a relative’s address, (if they live within the catchment area), to boost your chances of getting your kids a school place, but while this does go on; the Local Government Association say if caught out, you can be prosecuted under the 2006 Fraud Act with a maximum penalty of a year in prison or a $5,000 fine.
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