Parents are increasingly willing to tell property porkies to get their children into good local schools or even to rent homes that don’t get lived in within the catchment area.
New research from Zoopla found that almost a quarter of parents of school-aged children admitted flouting admissions criteria; 17% lied, bent or broke rules to get their children into their preferred school, while a further 7% say they ‘played the system’.
With the primary school application deadline approaching (15th January), Zoopla reports that 21% of these parents had registered their child at a family member’s address that was closer to their preferred school, 10% simply lied about their address, and 8% had temporarily rented a second home (that the child never lived in) within the catchment area.
One in six parents (16%) who admit they bent the rules say they made a ‘voluntary donation’ to a particular school ahead of applying, while 8% brazenly confessed to offering a bribe. Despite the prevalence of rule-breaking, over half of parents (56%) who’ve done so feel guilty about it.
Just moving into the catchment area of the school they want their children to go to attaches an average premium of £82,960 with the figure rising to £209,599 in London. Zoopla says its research highlights the opportunity for agents to spotlight the catchment areas of local schools in their property listings.
Andy Marshall, chief commercial officer, adds: “Our latest research highlights just how much of a consideration school catchment areas are for property buyers, with many willing to pay a hefty premium to ensure their property is within the catchment area to get into their school of choice.
“This highlights the need for agents to not only highlight local schools and Ofsted ratings in their property listings to drive interest, but to also ensure they’re doing so during physical viewings with potential buyers.”