Pushy parents are hindering my flat hunting

FORGET playing a football match where you might incur the wrath of Luis Suarez ...

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because there is something even more nerve-shredding than that.

Trying to find somewhere to live is the single most stressful thing in life.

Whether you're privately renting, buying, or registering with a housing association, there are a million hoops to jump through.

It's an expensive business. If you're buying you've got eye-watering legal fees and up-front deposits.

If you've got no income or low income where does your rent deposit come from, and how do you keep up with the council tax?

And then there's the hidden costs that come from maintaining a household - exploding washing machines, leaky roofs and the like.

Do you know what you really don't need complicating the whole thing? Answer: schools.

I say this because apparently choosing somewhere to live doesn't just involve all of the above. Families make a decision on where to live depending on which schools they are near.

In fact, during my recent flat hunting experience I was advised that certain postcodes are more sought after than others because pushy parents are hiking house prices up in a bid to send their mini-mes to their chosen school.

There are so many reasons why I believe this behaviour is wrong.

Most people would agree that catchment areas for state schools are supposed to exist to serve children in the local area.

These young people should come from diverse backgrounds and cultures. They should be of varying abilities, have different skills and with contrasting outlooks on life.

Catchments are not there to encourage people to move so their child can be guaranteed a place at a so-called good school.

I am sceptical of school league tables which just make the whole problem worse. The system creates bubbles of 'good' and 'bad' which results in less well- off families being frozen out of certain schools altogether.

I get that people want to live in certain areas, but school is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to education - it's about parenting first and foremost.

The way I see it is: if you don't like it, lump it. Your kid deserves no more and no less than everyone else's.

There are exceptions where young people may need to go to a school outwith their area, for example if they have complex needs. But moving to a postcode to make sure your offspring get the best education (in your eyes) is downright ridiculous.

This home moving business is enough to make us all pine for the Neanderthal days when we lived in caves, schools didn't exist and biting was socially acceptable.

Education

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