Where is leading the way for Ofsted rated outstanding schools in England?

Being close to an outstanding school is a top priority for many buyers with young families. Pupils stand a better chance of getting a school place if they live nearby, making homes in these areas highly sought-after.

We surveyed 1,000 parents across the UK to find out their views and discovered that more than 3 in 10 (33.6%) have considered moving home to be close to a good school. Our survey also revealed parents are willing to pay on average nearly £29,000 extra for a property within a school catchment.

With that in mind, we’ve taken a look at the percentage of outstanding schools (a metric used by Ofsted) in a given local authority in England to reveal the areas which are leading the way. 

A graphic showing a map of England and how many OFSTED rated Outstanding schools per local authority.

Kensington and Chelsea topped the ranking, with 67% of schools in the area rated outstanding by Ofsted. This is reflected in the property prices, with homes in the area costing on average £1,475,000. This will come as little surprise as the borough is well known as one of the most expensive in England. 

Rushmoor and Woking come in joint second place, with 50% of schools in both boroughs rated outstanding. Average property prices in these areas are significantly less than in London. In Rushmoor, average house prices are a more affordable £280,000, while they’re slightly more in Woking at £400,000.

A table showing the top ten areas with the highest number of Outstanding schools.

When looking at outstanding primary schools, there is no change in the top spot. The two other London authorities that feature in our top 10 ranking are Richmond upon Thames, where 52% of schools are rated outstanding, followed by Hammersmith and Fulham at 43%. However, the majority of outstanding primary schools can be found in the South East, with six local authorities in this region featuring in the top 10.

A horizontal bar chart showing the best areas for Outstanding primary schools.

The local authorities with the highest percentage of outstanding secondary schools can be found in the majority of regions across England. With Kensington and Chelsea and Woking coming out on top, other notable areas include Tunbridge Wells in Kent and Ribble Valley in Lancashire, where 83% and 75% of schools respectively are rated outstanding.

A horizontal bar chart showing the best areas for Outstanding secondary schools.

Explore Zoopla and take a look at properties for sale in the top five areas for outstanding schools in England.

Kensington and Chelsea
Hammersmith and Fulham
Richmond Upon Thames


Property prices were taken as median prices for homes sold in 2019 within a given area (local authority, partial postcode), as noted in the Land Registry Price Paid dataset from 2019.  Primary and secondary schools and their ratings were matched to given areas (local authority, partial postcode) based on school address information as listed in the Ofsted Inspection Dataset. The survey research was conducted by Censuswide with 1,000 parents in the UK between 22.01.21 to 25.01.21. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles. All data available upon request.