One in 10 parents make house purchase choice based on schools, study shows

Research by Nationwide demonstrates increasing desperation of parents scrambling to secure best education for their children

Nearly a quarter of UK parents of children of school age would be prepared to pay between 2% and 10% more for a new home – potentially thousands of pounds extra – in order to be in the catchment area of a good state school, according to research by Nationwide.

In a sign of the growing desperation of parents scrambling to secure the best education for their youngsters by living close to the top state schools, nearly one in ten (8%) admit they would shell out a premium of more than 10% extra for their house, while 8% would pay up to an additional 2%.

The research, published today by the UK’s largest building society, the Nationwide, and carried out by YouGov, also shows that parents are already making house purchase choices based on schools. Nearly one in five parents (18 %) admit that a school league table or school Ofsted rating has influenced where they chose to live. It comes as parents are currently doing the rounds of open days held at primary and secondary schools, for admission next year.

Young people lack financial skills

Young people are entering adult life with “dangerous gaps” in their financial knowledge, according to a new survey.

Under 25s are showing worrying gaps in their financial knowledge relating to bank statements, overdrafts and interest on loans, according to a new survey from Barclays and charity pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group) to mark the beginning of My Money Week, which runs June 3 to June 9.

Of those surveyed, 42pc could not interpret the difference between being in credit and overdrawn on a bank account statement, while more than a third did not know the correct meaning of APR in relation to interest charges on loans or credit cards.

Around one in eight (13pc) did not know what an overdraft was, with 8pc thinking it was a low-cost one-off loan from a bank.

Tracey Bleakley, pfeg chief executive, said: “It is clear that many young people are entering adult life with dangerous gaps in their financial knowledge that could lead them into serious financial difficulty.
“These findings underline the need for all schools to teach their pupils about personal finance, to equip them with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to manage their money well.”

Financial education will likely become compulsory in schools across England for the first time next year, following its inclusion in the new draft curriculum.

Personal finance is already taught in schools in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Money Advice Service released research last month which found that most children’s financial habits have already been formed by the time they reach seven years old.

It published a report compiled by behaviour experts at Cambridge University, which found that most seven-year-olds have already grasped how to count out money and know that it is used to buy goods. They have also worked out what it means to earn money and what an income is.

‘Tech Bacc’ aims to boost status of vocational courses

Plans to raise the status of vocational courses in sixth forms and colleges in England are to be unveiled later.bricklayer

Teenagers will gain a “technical baccalaureate” by showing abilities in maths, literacy and achieving a high level vocational qualification.

The aim is to give the new performance measure for schools and colleges the same status as A-levels.

Some universities and employers have complained current vocational education is of questionable quality.

Skills minister Matthew Hancock said the technical baccalaureate would be a “mark of achievement”.

The “Tech Bacc”, to be launched on Monday by Mr Hancock and Education Secretary Michael Gove, is intended to reinforce the value of technical and vocational training and qualifications taken by 16 to 19-year-olds.

School places under real strain, spending watchdog warns

A quarter of a million extra school places will be needed in England by autumn 2014 to meet rising demand, the National Audit Office (NAO) is warning.classroom setting

The spending watchdog said one in five primary schools in England was full or near capacity and there were signs of “real strain” on places.

The demand for places has been driven by England’s birth rate rising quicker than at any time since the 1950s.

Ministers say 80,000 extra places have been created and demand will be met.

Schools minister David Laws said the government was “reversing completely idiotic policies” followed under Labour that had seen 200,000 school places cut.

Labour has denied the claim and accuses the coalition of creating a “crisis”.

The NAO’s report said that despite the creation of those 80,000 extra places in the past two years and an overall surplus of places nationwide, the system was under strain and that, until last year, the government was unable to identify “hotspots” easily.

The past decade had seen the biggest 10-year increase in birth rate since the 1950s, said the NAO.

In total, 256,000 new school places are needed by 2014-15, 240,000 in primary schools, it said.

London has the greatest need – accounting for 37% of the extra primary places required, according to the NAO.

Bike to School Week

Bike to School Week is a fantastic opportunity to promote and celebrate the many benefits of cycling in your school. This year Bike to School Week is ‘pedal ready’ from today 21 March 2011.
Cycling is healthy and fun activity as well as being a really green mode of transport for any journeys, particularly the short ones to school that in car cause the most pollution and congestion.

However cycling on the road requires certain skills -observation – anticipation and knowledge of the road environment. All of these disciplines can be enhanced through the use of education and training materials available from or

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