By Bella Audsley
Choosing the right school for your child can sometimes mean choosing the right environment for your family, and sometimes even moving home. It is common for families to move house in order to be guaranteed a place in the local nursery’s two-metre radius catchment area, or to relocate to greener pastures where metaphorical catchment areas only exist to help parents avoid driving for hours on the school run. Parents often come to us to seek advice as a choice between country and city schools can amount to a wider decision about a rural or urban upbringing for their children.
Does the school’s location affect the availability of places?
School places in London have become increasingly competitive, with some schools citing that they receive over 10 applicants per place. The has had a direct impact on property and raises an important question about their location. However, it’s not just city schools that are seeing a rise in interest. While top independent schools in London are notoriously oversubscribed,
What impact do rural and urban schools have on your family’s lifestyle?
The school’s surroundings will undoubtedly have an effect on your child’s everyday life. It is important to consider the impact of transport on your family’s daily routine. Some further-afield parents may find that a lot of time is spent driving children to school, clubs or friend’s houses. Adolescents in particular can benefit from the freedom of a city’s public transport. Families living in the countryside may cherish the vast array of outdoor adventures, sense of community and relaxed pace; whereas urban parents may thrive on the limitless cultural activities a few underground stops away to keep their children, and themselves, busy. But parents don’t have to choose exclusively between picking blackberries or picking popcorn flavours; weekends and holidays are a brilliant way to show children a new environment.
Is it necessary to choose?
If you’re still struggling to decide, and the thought of leaving London leaves you wanting to run a country mile, boarding schools can offer the perfect compromise. Many top boarding schools are located in impressive leafy surroundings and boast extensive space and facilities, allowing children to experience a balance of urban and rural lifestyles during term time and the holidays.
While there is no definitive answer, as both options present their own benefits, we hope that these aspects will help you with this decision. Each child is individual and different environments may be more suitable for different stages in their life. The key question to consider is not ‘should we move homes?’, but ‘where do our children feel most at home?’.