The London connection in Bath is certainly very strong, and there are several reasons for this: Bath is a city that is commutable from the capital at only 90 minutes on the train (to be quicker still once electrification works have been completed). It is situated just 20 minutes from the M4, offers a variety of shops (both independent and high street), and its trademark biscuit-coloured Georgian buildings are enough to make anyone fall in love.
However, there is another reason Bath is becoming the relocation-city-of-choice for many Londoners in recent times: its excellent schools – something that is, of course, a crucial consideration to any family.
Bath attracts attention from families who are looking to move out of the ‘Big Smoke’, but still want to enjoy the advantages of city living. Because of its popularity with Londoners, some locals have even started jovially referring to Bath as “west west London”. Here at Pritchards, we know that a large percentage of potential buyers on our books are from the capital and, according to our latest analytics report*, 22% of all website visits to our Pritchards Houses site come from London – that’s second only to Bath itself!
There has been something of a ‘primary school crisis’ in London in recent years, and many families who have been disappointed with their child’s school allocation in London will be driven to consider available options in Bath. Nearly all families in Bath were said to be successful in obtaining their first or second choices of primary school this year. According to a quote in Country Property magazine, 88% were given their first choice and 9% allocated their second.
Unlike the majority of cities which have a few schools that are actively avoided, there is not a school in Bath that is considered a poor choice. According to the Government League table, 38 schools are considered to be above the national average. Schools in Bath and the surrounding areas appear to be thriving, with secondary schools in the area appearing at the top of the South West league table. Last year, 96% of pupils attended a secondary school rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.
Families in Bath will be spoilt for choice, but some of the most popular primary schools in Bath currently are:
Bathampton: Located in a peaceful area near the canal, Bathampton Primary School promotes living life adventurously and instills a sense of independence by offering choices to its pupils. It is also known for its high academic standards.
St Stephens: A Church of England school with a large team of around 60 staff, their aim is to build on the key principle of “love and inclusion”. Situated in the stunning Richmond Place, it has strong links with St Stephen’s Church on Lansdown Hill.
Widcombe: Recently awarded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, Widcombe Church of England Junior School runs by the motto: “be the best you can be”. Located in the popular area of Widcombe, very close to Bath Spa train station, it has a strong sense of community.
“Parents of children in and around Bath have so many lovely schools to choose between. Schools work in close partnership with each other to spread best practice, and this benefits the pupils in so many ways. Schools also share a very caring overarching ethos, alongside the continuous drive to ensure children excel across all subjects within the curriculum. Partnership with the local communities that schools serve is also key- school staff, parents and the wider community work closely to ensure that the children receive the very best possible provision in vibrant, ever-improving and happy schools.”
Matt Stone, Head Teacher, Bathford Church of England (VC)
Similarly, there are many highly-regarded secondary schools in Bath, both private and state funded. King Edward’s School is a fee-paying, mixed day school (also with a junior school), and is one of the leading independents, situated near the city centre. Beechen Cliff is a boys’ state school with Technology College status (with girls joining in the sixth form) and is also very popular. The Royal High School, located on Lansdown Hill, is a girls’ day and boarding school, and regularly comes near the top of the league tables for GCSE and A-Level results in Bath.
If you are confident your children will be getting a good education, you can set down your roots. And with all the fantastic schools in Bath, you can ensure your feet are firmly set in West Country soil for many years to come.
To find out more about relocating to Bath, contact Pritchards on 01225 466225 or email
*Source: Google Analytics 01/03/15 – 31/05/15