If your children’s schooling is driving your move, then you may have read with interest The Sunday Times annual Parent Power supplement, a definitive guide to the UK’s top schools. Several of the top schools in the UK, both independent and state, are located in our search area, so here’s the low down on the best areas to live in with reasonable proximity to these schools.
St Peter’s Catholic School, Guildford , 45
The highest placed state school in the Top 100 Secondary School category, at number 45, was St Peter’s Catholic School, Guildford. Its ranking was based on 2022 examination results. It also won The Sunday Times prestigious ‘Comprehensive of the Year’, this year.
St Peter’s Catholic School does not operate catchment areas, although they do have six feeder primary schools. The feeder schools are: St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School, in Guildford. St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, in Guildford. St Edmunds Catholic Primary School in Godalming. St Cuthbert Mayne Catholic School, in Cranleigh. St Polycarp’s Catholic Primary School, in Farnham and St Joseph’s Catholic School, in Dorking.
St Andrew’s Catholic School, Leatherhead, 59.
St Andrew’s School says on its website that although Catholic children have priority of admission, the catchment of the school includes the following parishes, Epsom, Ewell, Banstead, Tadworth, Cobham, Effingham and Fetcham, Leatherhead, Ashtead and Dorking.
The named feeder schools are; St Anne’s Catholic Primary School, Banstead, St Clement’s Catholic Primary School in Ewell. St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Dorking. St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Epsom and St Peter’s Catholic Primary School in Leatherhead.
Six of the Top 100 Independent Schools, fall into what we consider our patch.
Guildford High School, Guildford, 5
GHS as its known locally also won South East Independent Secondary School of the Year. Its junior school Guildford High Prep School, came in at number one for Top Independent Prep Schools 2021 out of the 50 featured. Its standing is based on the Stats 2017-2019. Criteria were reading, grammar, punctuation, and spelling, maths was aggregated.
So, if you’re interested in living in reasonable commutability to the school, then the good news is that location wise, the school catchment is far reaching. Its closeness to Guildford’s London Road train station, means girls travel from as far away as South West London and Woking to the north and West Sussex towns like Haslemere to the south, picking up girls from all the Godalming satellite villages on the way through.
Many pupils live in Guildford itself, which offers a wide range of housing stock from Merrow, where an average 4 bedroom house is £935,920. In central in Guildford detached houses sell for an average of £996,407 but in the prime roads such as Guildown Avenue, the last 5 houses that sold in the road in 2018-2021, were between £1,400,000 and £2,750,000.
Royal Grammar School, Guildford, 30
If you have a son, you maybe more interested in the (RGS). Its bus routes are numerous, and ferry pupils from towns, Woking, Leatherhead, Epsom, Camberley, Kingston, Cranleigh. Trains come in from Kingston, Epsom, Dorking, Heathrow, Hampton Court, Felton, Surbiton and Runnymead. It’s an 18 walk from Guildford Train station to the school or under five from London Road station.
The average 4 bed detached house in Woking is £935,234 and its near neighbour of Worplesdon which is also on the train route is £647,810.
Reigate Grammer School, Reigate 34.
Again its location on the heart of Reigate makes it a school with a wide catchment. Its bus routes start in, Banstead, Catherham, Crawley, East Grinstead Dorking, Epsom, Guildford, Horsham, Merrow and Tadworth.
A detached house in central Reigate will set you back £1,133,979. In Dorking an average house price is £501,531 and in Banstead detached houses average £963,774, whilst nearby Epsom its £937,790.
St Catherine’s School, Bramley, 39.
Known locally by its nickname St Cats, like GHS and RGS, many pupils travel from quite far to Guildford train station and get the dedicated bus down to the school. It has its own private bus routes, which start in Farnham, Godlaming, Haslemere, Woking, picking up girls from a numerous of villages on the way through to Bramley, which lies just south of Guildford and quite close to Godalming and Cranleigh.
Godalming was named as the best place to line in Surrey by Muddy Stilettos Awards in April 2022, so its no surprise that an average detached house is £1,020,223. Haslemere £1,186,619, it’s a little more affordable in Cranleigh at £936,644, mainly because the nearest train lines are 20 mins drive away which makes commuting to London a little harder.
Reeds School, Cobham, 88.
Its day pupils’ bus routes start in Twickenham, Richmond, Teddington, Raynes Park, Southfields, Epsom, Guildford, Woking, Weybridge and Thames Ditton. Pick ups include Hampton, East Horsley, Oxshott, Worcester Park and Surbition.
Churcher’s College, Petersfield 92.
Its bus routes are a reflection of the far spread of its pupils. Buses start in Chichester, Winchester, Four Marks, Bentley, Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere, Midhurst. Petersfield train station is on the Portsmouth line, so children can travel up from Portsmouth and down from Guildford.
St John’s, Leatherhead, 97.
Leatherhead railway station is half a mile from the school. Popular trains taken by children are from Guildford, Dorking, Effingham Junction and Clapham Junction. There are bus routes from Claygate, Weybridge, Esher, Woking, Chiswick, Guildford, Reigate, Wimbledon, Barnes Pond and Richmond.
The Top Primary schools
Judged via SATS in 2019, at number 11, South Farnham School, Farnham and at 23 The Raleigh School, Leatherhead. Criteria for getting into both South Farnham and The Raleigh is proximity to the school, so the closer your house is to the school site, the higher the chance of getting in.
It is worth saying that schools are not only about their results, we have first hand knowledge of most of the schools in our patch and you’ll find them as varied as the children they teach. Some of the most popular schools don’t get a mention but shouldn’t be written off or not considered.
You should always attend as many school open days as you can. Our clients often visit a school and do one of our orientation tours of the area on the same day. We plan house viewings around school appointments, so that you get a better feel for how life and school could fit together. Away from the league tables, you need to consider whether you’d want to be part of the school that you are visiting and whether it really does suit the needs of your own child.
All prices are correct at time of writing, April 2023