England’s top 50 primary and infant schools

Choosing the best start for your child’s future is never an easy task. If your little angel/monster has recently turned 4, or will before next September, then you’ll need to start considering options for starting school and entry to reception – unless home-schooling is in your early years plan.

Here are England’s top 50 state primary schools based upon the latest SATs results from 2015 – ranked by their average points score in the 3Rs (reading, writing and maths).

These schools certainly succeed when it comes to academic brilliance – and getting a place can seem like mission impossible. A popular technique from ambitious parents is to rent a property close to their preferred school – a potentially expensive gamble when some school cut-offs have, In the past, been as low as 50 metres.

England’s best primary school

Topping the list is Little Dewchurch Primary School in Herefordshire – it’s a small local primary with a religious ethos at its heart.  This year they only had 9 places available – although the latest numbers tell us that they have allowed 25 students to start their academic journey with them this September. And you could’ve lived within 7 kilometres of the school to bag a place. With top ranking academic scores – you can imagine this will continue to be a  popular choice for the local community and a little wider.

But should you up sticks to move to leafy Little Dewchurch? £200,000 could snap up a 4 bed detached house nearby – so it might not be a bad move.

Primary schools in London

The London boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea , Harrow, Westminster, Richmond upon Thames, Hounslow, Haringey, Greenwich and Havering all feature in the top 50 – making up almost a quarter of the top schools.

Fox Primary School - currently a building site

Fox Primary School – currently a building site

Fox Primary School in Kensington and Chelsea is well known for consistently being one of the best, and toughest, schools in the whole UK to secure a place at. In 2014 and 2015 you needed to live within just 100 metres of the school to get in (unless you already had a brother or sister attending). Fox School has been undergoing an expansion over the summer of 2016 – allowing them to double their reception intake for September 2016 from 30 students to 60. This also meant they could admit pupils living up to 303 metres from the front gates.

Fox school extension

Just as a guide to local prices – a parking space alone in W8 could set you back a cool £150,000 (plus annual service charges of £1,000). If you wanted more than a parking bay, rented bedsits start from around £800 per month. Or you could always splash out on a luxury 8 bed apartment – starting from around the £25 million mark.

Primary schools in Lancashire

Perhaps the most surprising set of entries are provided by Lancashire. Granted, Lancashire, as a local authority, has the largest collection of state funded schools in the UK, but this northern powerhouse features four schools in the top 50.

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Withnell is a Catholic school (a clue is in the name) and they use faith as part of their selection criteria. Catholic schools are often quite hard to get places at – unless you have a strong link to the Catholic Church. In other words – the kids are baptised and regularly attend church.

Last year St Joseph’s was not oversubscribed – so, this superbly academic school could still be a great option if you live in the local area, even if you don’t have a religious inclination. And a 2 bed terraced house in the same road as St Joseph’s could cost under £150,000 (that’s cheaper than a parking space in Kensington).

 

School name Local Authority Average point score
Little Dewchurch CofE Primary School Herefordshire 36.3
Fox Primary School Kensington and Chelsea 34.5
Kniveton CofE Primary School Derbyshire 34.3
Combe Church of England Primary School Oxfordshire 34.3
Barnes Primary School Richmond upon Thames 34.1
King David Primary School Manchester 34
St Peter’s Catholic Primary School Greenwich 33.9
Great Tew County Primary School Oxfordshire 33.8
Seend Church of England VA Primary School Wiltshire 33.8
Helmdon Primary School Northamptonshire 33.8
St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School, Langley Moor County Durham 33.8
Singleton Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School Lancashire 33.8
Moseley Church of England Primary School Birmingham 33.7
Nancledra School Cornwall 33.6
Ethelbert Road Primary School Kent 33.5
Selborne Church of England Primary School Hampshire 33.5
St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Gloucesterhire 33.5
Frosterley Primary School County Durham 33.5
Betley CofE VC Primary School Staffordshire 33.5
Our Lady of Grace Catholic Primary School Greenwich 33.4
Park Road Sale Primary School Trafford 33.4
Scotts Primary School Havering 33.4
Well Green Primary School Trafford 33.4
Lady Boswell’s Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School, Sevenoaks Kent 33.4
St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School, Lancaster Lancashire 33.4
St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Withnell Lancashire 33.3
St Faith’s Church of England Primary School Hampshire 33.3
Mundy CofE Junior School Derbyshire 33.3
St Therese of Lisieux Primary School Stockton-on-Tees 33.2
Tyldesley Primary School Wigan 33.2
Totley Primary School Sheffield 33.2
St Alban’s CofE (Aided) Primary School Rotherham 33.2
Dolphinholme Church of England Primary School Lancashire 33.2
The Holy Trinity Church of England Primary Academy Wiltshire 33.2
St Thomas’ Catholic Primary School, Sevenoaks Kent 33.1
Bledlow Ridge School Buckinghamshire 33.1
Hampden Gurney CofE Primary School Westminster 33.1
Newton Farm Nursery, Infant and Junior School Harrow 33.1
Holt Voluntary Controlled Primary School Wiltshire 33.1
St Mary’s Catholic Primary School ,Chiswick Hounslow 33.1
Longworth Primary School Oxfordshire 33.1
Bowdon CofE Primary School Trafford 33.1
Brampford Speke Church of England Primary School Devon 33
St Joseph’s RC Primary School Westminster 33
John Hellins Primary School Northamptonshire 33
St Mary’s Church of England Primary School Richmond upon Thames 33
Edward Pauling Primary School Hounslow 33
Rhodes Avenue Primary School Haringey 33
South Farnham School Surrey 33
Wentworth CofE (Controlled) Junior and Infant School Rotherham 33

Primary school applications close on January 15th. For the best chances of securing your preferred school always apply on time.

To find the best schools in your area visit findaschool.

Nearest school criteria explained

Catchment areas, nearest schools and other terminology make school admissions a jargon minefield. Here, we try to explain it as simply as possible.

Nearest school criteria

Several local authorities allocate places at oversubscribed schools by giving priority to children who apply to their nearest relevant school.

This effectively creates a catchment – an area around each school with priority for applicants living within that nearest area. As with catchment areas, living inside this nearest school area does not guarantee you a place at the school.

Always look at the criteria of each school you wish to apply for and make sure you apply on time.
Check out findaschool to find out your chances of getting into your nearest school.

Three reasons you might not get into your catchment school

Parents often ask: Am I guaranteed a place at my catchment school – and here are three reasons why they aren’t

Home to school distance tie-breaker

Many schools use home to school distance as a tie-break if a school is oversubscribed within a certain criteria. If the school filled up with other kids in the catchment area who live closer to the school than you do – you’re unlikely to get a place.

Sibling criteria – brothers and sisters

Children who live outside of a catchment area but have a brother or sister already at the school may get priority over children without a sibling at the school, even if they live in the catchment area.

Faith based criteria

Schools that use faith as part of their selection process can often give priority for practicing members of that faith – often requiring validation and a sign off by a relevant religious leader.

Check out findaschool to find out your chances of getting into your local catchment area school.

Catchment areas – will I get a place at my local school?

Here at findaschool we get lots of questions about catchment areas. Parents want to know how catchment areas work, are they guaranteed a place at their catchment school, and is it possible to get a place if they live outside the catchment area.

I live in a catchment area – am I guaranteed a place at that school?

No. Each year, schools must publish their admission number (PAN) stating how many places are available for entry for the following September. If there are less applicants that places then all children would automatically be eligible for a place. If applications exceed the PAN then each school has a predetermined set of criteria with a sequential priority order. Each application must be ranked against those criteria.

But surely I get priority over children living outside the catchment area?

Not always. Although living inside a catchment area usually gives you priority over children living outside this area, this is not always the case.

3 reasons you won’t get into your catchment school

Catchment areas – what are they?

Catchment areas can go under many different names depending on where you live across the UK. Priority areas, priority zones, priority admission areas, designated areas and normal areas are all simply regional names for catchment areas. Many schools that include religion as part of their selection process might give priority to people living in church parishes – again a catchment. Then there are schools that allow priority if the school is your nearest relevant school – fundamentally catchments.

Nearest schools explained

The name isn’t particularly important – catchment areas are all used to define a group of residents who receive some priority treatment if they apply to an oversubscribed school based upon where they live.

Do all schools have catchment areas?

No.

Around half of all schools in England use catchment areas. In Scotland and Wales virtually all have catchment areas.

Check out findaschool to know if you’re likely to get into your local catchment area school.

700,000 secondary aged kids in inadequate or failing schools

Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. In other words they are the government agency tasked with making sure schools and other child services are meeting high standards. And – if not – finding ways to help schools improve and provide the best education possible for children and young people.

In the 2014/15 academic year Ofsted made 4,525 inspections of mainstream primary and secondary schools up and down the country – this equates to just under a quarter.

In the annual report produced by Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw – Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI), states that 85% of all primary schools are graded either good or outstanding, while secondary schools lag behind at only 74%.

In fact 700,000 kids in secondary education are attending schools that are less than good. And 20% of those are in schools that are deemed to be failing.

Plus if you live in the North of England or the Midlands, your chances of getting into a good or outstanding school really start to drop.

Too many secondary schools have nurtured a culture of low pupil expectations. And they frustratingly tolerate poor behaviour and disruption in class. Unsurprisingly, these schools generally perform significantly worse in their GCSEs results.

Believing that children living in areas with inadequate schools are pre-destined to behave worse and achieve less than their peers in other parts of England after the age of 11 is a sad state of affairs – and something needs to clearly change.

The government’s plans to academise all schools in England are not driving up standards enough – they often have an initial surge of revitalisation, but that surge too often starts to falter. In fact looking at the worst performing Local Authorities across the country they are simply shifting blame. We need local politicians and school leaders to really challenge the status quo and make a genuine difference.

If you want to find out how your local secondary schools performed in their last Ofsted inspection, check them out at findaschool.

Secondary school application deadline – 31 October

Find the best school for your kids

Find the best school for your kids

Next September may seem a long way away when you’re only ten. But if you turning eleven this academic year and due to move on to a secondary school then your parents only have a few more days to get your secondary school applications in and try to seal your academic fate.

That’s right, applications for secondary school places in 2017 close next week, on the 31st October. It’s Halloween for some – and a potential nightmare for many parents across the nation.

Through our annual research and data collection we’ve identified that in September 2016, half of all secondary schools across England were oversubscribed.

find your school with findaschool

Find your school with findaschool

But thanks to our school finder at findaschool you can check out your local schools and even see where you would’ve needed to live in order to get a place in previous years – hopefully an indication of your chances next year with your secondary applications.

We’ve been collecting admissions information for some areas, particularly in London, since 2010, and other areas since 2014. So take a look at our historical data too to get an idea of trends. Plus we’ve included schools’ Ofsted reports, contact details and much more.

We’d recommend carefully looking at your Local Authority’s published booklets to get the full list of admissions criteria for your preferred schools.

And most importantly – get your secondary school applications in on time – otherwise your child might just end up at the bottom of the pile.

To see how places were allocated at your top school choices last year check out findaschool.

Welcome to findaschool by 192.com

 findaschool

Welcome to the new findaschool blog. Over the coming weeks and months, the team will be writing short posts to tell you all about the findaschool service, to provide advice on school admissions in the UK, and to offer some insights from the admissions data we have collected over the past few years.

findaschool by 192.com launched in November 2015. It’s a free guide to schools in the UK, designed to help families make informed decisions about their child’s education, and with a particular focus on information about admissions.

The original version of findaschool, which began life in 2011, was borne of frustration in trying to understand my chances of getting a place at various primary schools in London. My wife and I had a young son and were planning to move house, and realised very quickly that we would need to factor in local schools. However, I hadn’t expected it to end up dominating proceedings.

I don’t have a faith and have no inclination to pretend otherwise, and even if I could afford private education, I would prefer my children to go to state schools – at least for their primary education. So, we were effectively limited to community schools. When these schools are oversubscribed (and in London two-thirds of primary schools were oversubscribed in 2015), admissions are usually determined by where you live in relation to the school: live too far from the school and your chances of getting a place fall dramatically.

Most (although not all) local authorities now publish cut-off distances to explain how places were allocated last year. This is helpful, but leaves parents with rather a lot of work to interpret the data to judge their chances of getting a place at the school of their choice.

findaschool fills this gap by plotting Successful Admission Areas.  These are the areas that you would have needed to live in to get a place at the school last year. These areas take account of the diverse array of admission criteria used by schools across the UK – from those measuring distance on the basis of walking routes, to schools with pre-defined catchment areas, to those giving priority if you apply to your nearest school, and more.

The original version of the site only included schools in London, but the plan was always to expand the coverage. However, when I started findaschool I hadn’t appreciated the scale and complexity of the task of collecting and processing data for the 25,000 or so schools in the UK. In 2014, 192.com bought findaschool and we have now undertaken this painstaking task. It has required well over 1,000 Freedom of Information requests, and dealing with data in different formats from more than 200 local authorities, and lots of individual schools.

As a result of this effort, findaschool now provides an invaluable service for parents researching schools – especially those looking to move house – providing admissions information for at least 95% of all state schools in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It will tell you whether a school was oversubscribed, plot Successful Admission Areas where these are relevant, and give you a summary of the admission criteria used by the school. In addition, we provide details of school inspections (including the inspection result of the school under its previous incarnation if it has recently converted to become an academy); exam results; class sizes; and various statistics about the make-up of pupils at the school.

The site continues to develop with lots of new features planned for the coming months. For example, you will soon be able to see the full history of admissions data that we have collected – going back to 2010 for some schools in London. In addition, we are now starting to explore and analyse the data in more depth to find things like the areas which give you the best (and worst) choice of schools – watch this space for more on this topic.

We are always looking to improve the service, and would love to have your feedback on the site. If you have any comments or suggestions, then please either email findaschool@192.com, or send a tweet to @findaschoolinfo.

New from 192.com – Property Report!

 

header

We’re very proud to announce that we have launched a new product – Property Report!

Available for residential properties in England and Wales, a Property Report contains a wealth of information that is crucial to anyone thinking of moving home – whether renting or buying.

Information in the reports includes:

  • Up-to-date valuation
  • Owner information
  • Extensive information about local schools, primary and secondary
  • Area crime statistics, including a map of recent local crimes
  • Current occupiers
  • Mortgages and other charges affecting the property
  • Maps and pictures
  • Neighbours

Check out Property Reports here!

Check your date with 192.com!

If you’re one of the many people now looking for love online, you’ll already know that online dating has its pitfalls – sometimes the picture doesn’t quite match the person, or the person who claimed to like foreign films turned out to mean anything with Arnie in it. Of course, you have to chalk those up to experience and try again.

checkdateforbl

However, there is unfortunately a slightly darker side to some of the deception that goes on under the cover of some online dating sites – people who are using them to find targets for financial and other frauds. We’ve all seen the stories in the press of people who were somehow persuaded into parting with their life savings after coming into contact with confidence tricksters.

You can – and should – take measures to protect yourself if you are in this sort of situation.

Take a look at our new “Check Your Date” page, which gives some helpful hints. It also has a search form, and if you are getting into something serious, or you are at all worried about someone you’re seeing, you can order a background report about them.

2015 edited Electoral Roll is live!

The first major tranche of the 2015 edited Electoral Roll has been published and is now live and ready for searching on 192.com!

More than 15 million new name and address records have been added to the site, so if you have been searching for someone in the past, it’s a great time to search again.

Search the 2015 edited Electoral Roll!

It is also a great resource for ensuring that your contact information for friends and colleagues is up-to-date. Click the link above to search our updated people databases.