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Our youngest child leaves Prep School in July and is going to Senior School. We don’t have vast amounts of offspring but there is a bit of a gap in ages which means that we have had a child in prep school since 1995 !! I will probably need to get a new puppy as a prep school substiture.

The different types of school in the UK is as diverse as the population and we have tried a few different ones over the years, including a year in French school for one child and a term in a French Chateau for another. Choosing the right school for each child to suit the whole family can become a scientific equation of rocket science propertions. Quite apart from the wide variety of ethos and education systems they all offer, the different locations and school days can be tricky to comprehend.

In the Cotswolds counties that we deal in - Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire – every single school is different. We have a client at the moment that especially wants to be near Chipping Campden High School, which has a brilliant reputation, so I have created a spread sheet of which villages have a school bus service for that school because both parents work and they need their children to get to and from school by themselves. Because of the location of Chipping Campden this means checking the local authority school transport for each of the four counties, if you are looking at day senior schools this is the same for all the private schools and all grammar schools as well, the network of school transport is enormous and intricate, some are free and some you have to pay for depending on your location and what type of school your children attend. Junior schools area little less likely to have a bus service but many do.

Then there’s the boarding schools, we have both state and independent boarding schools in the Cotswolds. If you’d like your child to board termly, you don’t really need to live in the Cotswolds so all the schools are similar. If, however, you think weekly boarding will suit your family best you probably need to be within a 45 minute radius of the school and all the schools differ in their allowances, some have collection on a Friday evening, some Saturday, some only allow children home for Sunday afternoon.

Some schools allow flexiboarding, but this is more difficult, especially in the current climate. Some include two nights boarding as part of their weekly boarding package, others only allow occasional flexi boarding on play nights or party nights.

Being a day pupil at a boarding school is much more prevalent than it was but most day pupils can’t be collected from school until 7pm and still have to be at school at the weekend, only a couple that I can think of no longer insist on weekend school every week although even these schools often have special weekends where it is compulsory.

Whether you choose the area first then select your favourite school or choose a school first then look for property in the area, dovetailing all the moving parts in can be a bit of a headache but you’ll be surprised how things can suddenly drop into place when you least expect it.

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