Four-year-olds across our area face a day of destiny tomorrow (April 16), when their parents receive official notification of which primary school they will be allowed – or required – to attend in September.
Many of those facing disappointment will turn to North Yorkshire County Council – or Leeds City Council, if they live in the Wetherby area – to appeal the decision.
Those who get the school they wanted, meanwhile, will be hit by a wave of relief and celebrate their good fortune – or, in many cases, good planning.
That’s because with a few exceptions, every address falls within just one school catchment area, which is great if you like your local school, as you’ll probably be lucky enough to be offered a place there straight away.
But if you don’t want your child to go to your local school, then things can get a bit more complicated.
There is some wriggle-room in the system, but the surest way to snag a place at the school of your choice is to live in its catchment area.
There are several ways of assessing whether you like a school, but many parents use the simple – if rather blunt – tool of the Ofsted report.
The following three properties are all family homes with four or more bedrooms, all cost below £500K and are all within the catchment areas of primary schools rated Outstanding by Ofsted.
Bag one now and avoid the agony of academic anticipation next April.
Park House is a semi-detached house at Wormald Green, between Harrogate and Ripon.
It has been extended to provide a spacious and airy dining kitchen, with a third bedroom and en suite above, and could have a fourth bedroom if you include the study.
Outside, there are gardens to the front and side, as well as a shed and single garden.
There’s a regular bus service to Ripon and Harrogate from the A61 and the hosue is just within the catchment area of Markington CE Primary School, which is just up the road and has been rated Outstanding by Ofsted for the best part of a decade.
About 13 miles away in Green Hammerton, Apple Trees is a spacious, detached house on York Road, set well back from the A59.
It has four bedrooms, two large reception rooms and a playroom, as well as front and back gardens, off-street parking and twin garages.
It’s also within the catchment area of Green Hammerton CE Primary School, which has been rated Outstanding by Ofsted since 2007.
About halfway between these two properties is 17 Sterling Chase, in the north of Knaresborough.
Built in 2001 on a cul-de-sac in a popular development with a money theme (neighbouring streets include Mint Garth, Florin Drive and Half Crown Way), it has six bedrooms, a well-maintained garden and off-street parking.
It’s also within the catchment area of Meadowside Community Primary School, which was rated Outstanding in all areas last year.