A new report has ranked the best and worst places to bring up children in England by region.
The report, carried out by Oxford Home Schooling, ranked local authorities in England on a number of key factors, including the percentage of schools rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, the percentage of available school places and the affordability of houses.
So if you’re considering moving to England with young children, then the following may help guide you on where to – and where not to – settle.
Rutland is the best local authority in the East Midlands for young families to live and is the 10th best nationwide. Rutland rates highly for its number of school places available (36 per cent), and the number of schools rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’, with 100 per cent of schools in the area rated highly by Ofsted.
Leicester is the worst authority in the region, with schools oversubscribed by 14 per cent, and below-average scores for house affordability and Ofsted ratings.
East of England
Central Bedfordshire ranks as the top authority in the East of England and is seventh best nationally. This is largely due to its percentage of available student places (17 per cent), and high Ofsted ratings, with 87 per cent of schools rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’.
Thurrock is the worst local authority in the region, and the seventh-worst nationwide, with schools oversubscribed by 3 per cent and most houses proving unaffordable to those on the area’s average wage.
Sutton is the best local authority in the capital for families to raise children, with 25 per cent of school places available, and 93 per cent of schools scoring highly with Ofsted.
On the other hand, five of the ten worst places in the country can be found in London, including Richmond upon Thames, Croydon, Hillingdon and Islington. Lewisham is the worst in the region, and the country, due to 35 per cent of schools being oversubscribed, expensive housing and poor Ofsted performances, with just 64 per cent of schools scoring highly.
In the North East, County Durham is the best local authority, with 14 per cent of school places available and the most affordable housing in England, as the average wage amounts for 26 per cent of average house prices.
North Tyneside rates as the worst local authority, with only 2 per cent of student places available and 63 per cent of schools receiving a ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ grade from Ofsted – one of the worst scores in the country.
Cheshire West and Chester is the best local authority in the North West and ninth in the country, with 11 per cent of school spaces available, affordable housing, and 84 per cent of schools receiving a high Ofsted grade.
Conversely, Knowsley rates as the worst in the region and the ninth worst in England. Its schools are among the most oversubscribed in the country at 33 per cent over and have the worst ‘Good’/’Outstanding’ rate in the nation at just 17 per cent. However, it does score highly for affordable housing, with typical house prices at 19 per cent of the average wage.
In the South East, families should consider Brighton and Hove, with the local authority boasting 100 per cent of schools with a ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ rating, and 13 per cent of places available.
On the other hand, Reading ranks as the worst in the region, and the sixth worst in the country, with schools 17 per cent oversubscribed, below average affordability at 11 per cent, and just 70% of schools with a high Ofsted rating.
Torbay is the best local authority in the South West for couples with children, with 100 per cent of schools scoring highly with Ofsted, and 17 per cent of school places available.
However, South Gloucestershire was found to be the worst in the region, and the second-worst in the country overall, with schools 2 per cent oversubscribed, below average affordability and only 35 per cent of schools receiving a ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ grade.
The research found Shropshire to be the best local authority in the West Midlands, and the sixth best in the country. This is due to schools having 12 per cent of spaces available and 89 per cent receiving high Ofsted grades.
Telford and Wrekin ranked as the worst in the region, with schools 100 per cent full and only 62 per cent of schools rated ‘Good’ or ’Outstanding’. The area did offer affordable housing, however, with house prices at 15 per cent of the average wage.
Yorkshire and the Humber
Yorkshire and the Humber boasts five of England’s top ten local authorities for families, including North East Lincolnshire, Calderdale, Rotherham and North Yorkshire. North Lincolnshire is the best authority in the area, as well as the best in England. This was due to a combination of good school place availability (14 per cent), a high percentage of ‘Good’/’Outstanding’ Ofsted ratings and affordable housing, at 17 per cent of the national wage.
Sheffield is the worst in the region, with schools 3 per cent oversubscribed and just 61 per cent of schools rating highly with Ofsted. It did, however, offer affordable housing, with prices at 15 per cent of the average wage.
Article published 6th December 2019