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Blog: Why I moved home to get my child into the right school

couple and a childMoving home to be in the right school catchment area might seem drastic. But Emily Higgins, mother to twin daughters and owner of parenting blog Twinmummyanddaddy.com, has done just that. Would you?

Not so long ago, children would simply go to whatever school happened to be nearest.

But in today's world of league tables and Ofsted reports, parents are much more active in choosing where their sons and daughters are educated.

A big part of this is deciding where to live, as most schools' enrolment policies give priority to pupils who reside nearby.

Some parents will go to any lengths to ensure their children have access to the best possible education, and moving home to do so has become increasingly common.

Planning a move years in advance

My husband and I have already started to think about our 18-month-old twins' education.

I want them to attend the same primary school that I went to, and for this to become a possibility we had to move just over two miles away from our original home.

Our new location offers placements at a better school for our daughters.

It wasn't cheap as the move cost us around £1,000, but to me that was a price worth paying.

I know that some people will disagree with what we did, but you have to have to get top grades to get into university and to get a good start on the career ladder.

Moving was the sensible thing to do

In my opinion moving home was the sensible thing to do and I know that we would do it again if it meant getting our children into the right high school.

Recent research by the Local Government Association (LGA) highlights the pressures some schools are facing, which in turn may lead many parents to seek alternatives.

Figures from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee show that in 2012-13 nearly 65 per cent of authorities were having to dip into their maintenance funding to pay for extra places, storing up unknown repair costs for the future.

The pressures are leading to some schools having to convert non-classroom space, such as music rooms and libraries, into classrooms.

Why the right school matters

Others have been forced to reduce playground space or are having to expand classes beyond the statutory 30 children per class according to the LGA.

We've all heard of schools being oversubscribed and I for one want my children to be taught in a classroom that was intended for that exact purpose, not in a small crowded room that used to be a cupboard.

Kat, 32, is a childminder from Cheshire, and runs parenting blog A to Z Mummy. Like me, she moved house to help get her son into the right primary school.

She says: "We wanted to move house to a nicer area in time for our son to start school.

"We were unable to sell our house, but were lucky enough to be able to raise funds to move anyway.

"Financially, we are having to make a lot of sacrifices at the moment, but I wouldn't think twice about doing it again."

If only all schools were equally good

The best solution to this problem I have heard is that all schools should be as good as one another.

That way each child would go to their local school and no-one would have to move.

But while differences remain, parents will continue doing everything they can to get their kids a good education. 

What do you think?

Would you move home to be in the right school catchment area?

We want to hear from you! You can share your views on the message board below.

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Emily Higgins

Emily Higgins

Emily Higgins has worked in the insurance industry for almost eight years. Mother to twin daughters, she runs award-winning parenting blog Twinmummyanddaddy.com.

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