New data reveals England’s best and worst places to raise children (and Thurrock is on the list)

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A NEW study conducted by Oxford Home Schooling has revealed the best and worst places in England for young families to live in order to secure a good education for their children.

New research

The study, ranked local authorities on a number of key factors: the percentage of schools that are rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, the percentage of school places available and the affordability of housing, based on average wages and property prices.

North Lincolnshire came out on top, scoring highly across all categories. Despite 86% of its schools being scored highly by Ofsted, one in seven (14%) of the student places available were not filled last year. With its average wage (£25,000) representing 17% of the area’s average house price (£149,000), it’s also an affordable place to live.

Such statistics are considerably better than the national averages. Across the country, around three-quarters (74%) of schools are considered ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’, while just 6% of school places are not applied for. In one in five (20%) local authorities, schools are oversubscribed, with applicants outnumbering the places available.

Regarding the affordability of housing, the average wage in England (£30,000) represents 13% of the typical property value (£281,000).

North Lincolnshire is just one of five local authorities from Yorkshire and the Humber that feature in the top 10 best places to live. In contrast, half of the 10 worst places for families are in London, with Lewisham the lowest-ranked.

In Lewisham, the number of students applying for school places was 35% higher than the amount available, despite less than two-thirds (64%) of the schools being rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’. With houses averaging nearly £400,000, and wages just 9% of this (£35,000), it’s an expensive place to live too.

The top 10 best and worst places for young families to live in England are:


1: North Lincolnshire – Yorkshire and the Humber
2: Torbay – South West
3: North East Lincolnshire – Yorkshire and the Humber
4: Calderdale – Yorkshire and the Humber
5: Rotherham – Yorkshire and the Humber
6: Shropshire – West Midlands
7: Central Bedfordshire – East of England
8: North Yorkshire – Yorkshire and the Humber
9: CheshireWest & Chester – North West
10: Rutland – East Midlands


1: Lewisham – London
2: South Gloucestershire – South West
3: City of Bristol – South West
4: Islington – London
5: Hillingdon – London
6: Reading – South East
7: Thurrock – East of England
8: Croydon – London
9: Knowsley – North West
10: Richmond upon Thames

Dr Nick Smith, principal at Oxford Home Schooling, said: “All parents want the best education for their children and many will go to extreme lengths to get them into certain schools. This may involve moving house to be within certain catchment areas. For those considering such action, our research has highlighted the local authorities which offer quality education in areas where houses are most affordable.”

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