New research has revealed that Central Bedfordshire is the best place in the East of England for young families to live in order to secure a good education for their children.
The study, conducted by Oxford Home Schooling, ranked local authorities on a number of key factors, the percentage of schools that are rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, the percentage of school places available and the affordability of housing, based on average wages and property prices.
Central Bedfordshire had the best average in the East of England across all of the factors, this is largely due to its percentage of available student places (17%), and high Ofsted ratings, with 87% of schools rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’.
A Central Bedfordshire Council spokesperson said: “We’re delighted that Central Bedfordshire has been named as the best place to raise children in the east of England. This reaffirms what we already know, which is that Central Bedfordshire truly is a great place to live and work.
“We are a growing area, which suggests more and more families are discovering all of the benefits that Central Bedfordshire has to offer. This includes great schools, with a high percentage having ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ Ofsted ratings and where we are able to offer a high percentage of children their first preference school.
"Our services around children such as our Children’s Centres, youth workers and family support workers are all based locally and work with young people and their parents so that all children can grow up to be happy and healthy.
“Our area is also expected to grow in the next 15 years, so it means a lot more school places will be needed. Our long-term Schools for the Future programme will meet this demand and ensure we have the right schools, in the right places, delivering the best education.”
Dr Nick Smith, principal at Oxford Home Schooling, said: “All parents want the best education for their children and many will go to extreme lengths to get them into certain schools.
“This may involve moving house to be within certain catchment areas. For those considering such action, our research has highlighted the local authorities which offer quality education in areas where houses are most affordable.”
Across the country, around three-quarters (74%) of schools are considered ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’, while just 6% of school places are not applied for. In one in five (20%) local authorities, schools are oversubscribed, with applicants outnumbering the places available.
Regarding the affordability of housing, the average wage in England (£30,000) represents 13% of the typical property value (£281,000).
North Lincolnshire came out on top across the country, scoring highly across all categories.
For more information visit: www.oxfordhomeschooling.co.uk.