A state school (also called public school in many other countries, but not in the UK!) is a school funded by the government, and therefore admission does not require funding by parents. To be clear: they are free.
They are becoming increasingly popular and included in the Good Schools Guide, with 264 schools featured nowadays compared with 10 in 1986.
The benefits of State Schools for families moving to London
Why are state schools so popular with relocating families?
With rent levels at their highest levels in decades, the financial burden of living in London with a family is enormous. Adding to that the financial implications of private schools, and the cost of living can become unsustainable, even for wealthy families, especially when these families include several children.
Therefore state schools are often considered a very good option for families relocating with several children to London.
An additional benefit is that all state schools follow exactly the same curriculum. This means that, for example, if a family is forced to move home a few years on, the children would have a total continuity in their education.
How does the choice of the State School impact families moving from abroad?
It is important that a home search and choice of area coincides with a family’s state school search, so that you can maximize the chances of getting a place at the most suitable school.
This is particularly relevant when a state school is the preferred option, because a child will only be eligible to apply for a state school once they live in the schools’ area.
Choosing the right area for state schools and for the family’s budget will therefore be paramount.
Note: This post was originally published in May 2017 and has been updated in 2021 for comprehensiveness.