By John Grainger, Property editor
There are exactly two months to go till the deadline for applying for a primary school place.
That means that if you don’t already live in the catchment area for the school you want your child to start at next September, then you have 61 days in which to move. That might be a tall order – especially over the festive season – but you might just make it. Possibly.
With a few exceptions, every address falls within just one school catchment area, which is great if you like your local school, as you’ll probably be lucky enough to be offered a place there straight away.
But if you don’t want your child to go to your local school, then things can get a bit more complicated.
There is some wriggle-room in the system, but the surest way to snag a place at the school of your choice is to live in its catchment area.
There are several ways of assessing whether you like a school, but many parents use the simple – if rather blunt – tool of the Ofsted report.
The following four properties are all family homes with four or more bedrooms, all cost below £500K and are all within the catchment areas of primary schools rated Outstanding by Ofsted.
Number 53 Franklin Road is a stone-built Victorian end-terrace townhouse on a tree-lined road within walking distance of Harrogate town centre.
It has three floors, four bedrooms and a cellar store room. Outside, there are gardens, an enclosed courtyard-style space and a separate garage.
It is also just around the corner from Grove Road Community Primary (CP) School, which Ofsted praises as “a truly inclusive school” with a “diverse mix of pupils” who “all succeed extremely well”.
In Knaresborough, 3 Aspin View is a semi-detached family house facing onto a broad grass verge dotted with birch trees.
It has four bedrooms, with a possible ground-floor fifth, as well as gardens to three sides, off-street parking and a garage.
Conveniently, it is a child-friendly walk away from Aspin Park CP School, whose “happy, confident, articulate and well-motivated” pupils “make a major contribution to the life of the school and the local community”, according to Ofsted.
Number 2 Chapel Court is one of two five-bedroom homes for sale in a converted monastery to the rear of a grade II-listed presbytery in Sicklinghall.
The three-storey property has retained a wealth of period features, including stone-mullioned windows and beams.
There are enclosed walled gardens, and a shared courtyard, garage and parking.
It is also just at the opposite end of the village from Sicklinghall CP School, where, says Ofsted, pupils are “members of a very cohesive school community” who make “regular and creative use of the outdoor environment”.
Finally, Edgemoor House in Bishop Thornton is a very spacious detached family house overlooking open countryside.
It has four bedrooms, large gardens with two garden sheds and an attached single garage.
Again, being in the village itself it is just a short walk away from the tiny Bishop Thornton Church of England Primary School, whose pupils, say inspectors, “have outstanding attitudes to learning, behave impeccably and enjoy the challenges in lessons”.