Being top of the class means paying top property prices

Being in the catchment of an excellent school will typically add 10-15 per cent to the value of a property, an expert has revealed.

And that can mean tens of thousands of pounds extra in the leafier parts of Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

Tom Dennes, of Bigwood Country Homes, said education requirements were often at the top of the shopping list when people were looking to move. “The importance of a good education means that it invariably falls as the number one priority for families.”

And he highlighted how Stratford-upon-Avon, where the firm is based, was a particular “hot spot”.

He said: “Certainly, many buyers moving to the Stratford area are doing so due to the high quality and diversity of schools.

“It adds a further complication to a property search – and of course a higher price for the prized houses close to a good school.”

Mr Dennes said the choice of schooling was often quoted among the top three requirements, with the order varying according to an individual’s own priorities.

“Usually it will be schooling ahead of everything else; commutability particularly to local towns, Birmingham and a lesser extent London, taking into consideration A-roads, motorway networks and airports such as Birmingham International, and villages and towns with good facilities.

“The Stratford area scores highly on all three fronts making it very popular indeed with families.”

Mr Dennes said a special attraction was that a good education could be had for free.

“There are three excellent Grammar Schools in the locality: Stratford upon Avon Grammar School for Girls near Shottery, King Edward VI Grammar School for boys in Stratford and Alcester Grammar School.

“Being selective state Grammar Schools they are heavily over-subscribed, but at least the option remains which is not the case in other counties. Of course there are plenty of excellent fee paying Prep and Public Schools to choose from but the area is also lucky to have some good village primary schools as well.

“League tables are always uppermost in parents’ minds and I have no doubt that they will be closely studying the performance of target schools following publication of the recent GCSE and A Level results,” he said.