Every parent wants their child to be happy and healthy, and getting the best education for your children is often at the top of the priority list too. Therefore buying a house in the right catchment area for your choice of primary or secondary school can be really important.

Find a family home

Finding a property

Finding a property in the right catchment area for your preferred school is much easier thanks to the ESPC school catchment search. But how do you know which school is the right one for your kids?

Which school is best?

Exam league tables can help you choose the best secondary schools – with the next set of results to be published later this month.

To get a really good understanding of the achievements, culture and performance of a school you need to check out the care inspectorate reports available via Education Scotland. This can be quite a daunting task! It is also worth trying to speak with other mums and dads to get some relevant first-hand accounts of what the schools are like.

With school roles rising and a high demand for places at the perceived best schools, schools are offering very few out-of-catchment places. So when it comes to choosing a property, parents may have to stretch their budget or compromise on other key property features. The usual family requirements of enough bedrooms, storage space, a garden and living rooms are all vitally important, as well as the school. Getting in to the right catchment area can make the decision on the location of your property even harder.

Having a disposable income for those extra-curricular activities can also be very important when it comes to keeping children happy –swimming, football, dancing lessons, Scouts and Brownies, and socialising and entertaining are all important to children, and the costs soon add up. This needs to be factored in when you are considering your budget and where to move to.

We’ve had a look at the different selling prices of properties within the catchment for some of the most highly sought after schools in Edinburgh. Perhaps unsurprisingly, homes in these school catchment areas often sell for substantially higher than the average selling price of properties nearby.

Primary schools

Corstorphine Primary School

  • Average selling price in catchment area £262,574
  • Average selling price in Corstorphine £249,482
  • 5.2% higher

South Morningside Primary School

  • Average selling price in catchment area £322,809
  • Average selling price in Morningside of £301,813
  • 7.0% higher

Sciennes Primary School

  • Average selling price in catchment area £294,702
  • Average selling price in Newington £254,250
  • 15.9% higher

Flora Stevenson Primary School

  • Average selling price in catchment area £296,502
  • Average selling price in Comely Bank £260,882
  • 13.7% higher

This clearly demonstrates that securing a catchment place in one of the perceived better performing primary schools comes at a premium when it comes to house prices.

Secondary schools

For high schools, it isn’t as clear cut as the catchment areas cover a larger area. As the catchments are generally area wide, they tend to correspond more directly with the given area.

Two of the top performing state high schools are James Gillespie’s and The Royal High School. Properties in these catchment areas sell for an average of £249,979 and £284,750 respectively.

Compare this with the average for Edinburgh as a whole of £223,017, and there’s a 12.1% and 27.7% increase for the catchment of these schools. It once again shows that it costs more to buy a house in the catchment area for the better performing high schools.

Notes: All figures are calculated based ESPC data showing the average selling price between September 2015 and February 2016.