Educating Essex – Two of the county’s most popular towns for schools

Published Jul 22, 2015 – 2 mins read

If you have any sort of interest in the county of Essex as a potential home then you’ll be aware that both its economy and housing market are set to benefit from Crossrail.

A quick scroll through the internet will reveal the often energetic speculation about which housing markets and types of property will benefit from the government’s £14.8 billion rail link between Essex, via central London, to Berkshire.

But this is not the whole picture as to why Essex property is in demand and popular. The two large centres that will get the greatest benefit from the Crossrail project, Colchester and Chelmsford, have winning appeal outside the looming transport improvements.
For some time now both Chelmsford and Colchester have been target locations for anyone working in London but wanting to spend the evenings and weekends away from the big smoke, wanting a relatively short commute and most crucially, are seeking somewhere to raise a family.
In my experience it is the quality of the two area’s schools that seals the deal, as well as the excellent (and soon to be even better) transport links into London, that make these two locations ideal for families.



Some 86% of the city’s state schools have a ‘good’ rating or above according to Ofsted, while all of the pupils at King Edward VI Grammar School gained five or more A* to C GCSEs. Other schools that exceed the national average of 63.8% include the St John Payne Catholic Comprehensive School (70%) and The Sandon School (66%).

The city’s upsides are that a commute into London is just 36 minutes into Liverpool Street (and 12 minutes from Shenfield and its May 2017 opening Crossrail connection into central London). A season ticket currently costs £3,728 – £1,068 less than Colchester – but you’ll pay on average £120,000 more to live in Chelmsford, which is 13 minutes closer to Liverpool Street.



The town is a learning hotspot for secondary education in the UK by any yardstick. Its Royal Grammar School was ranked 4th best in England while its County High School for Girls was ranked 6th best – and both achieved 100% of its pupils gaining five A* to C grade GCSEs last  year. Other schools of note include the Colne Community School and College (69%) and Philip Morant School and College (63%).

If you can get your children into these schools then commuting into London is going to cost £4,796 and on average homes in the town cost £297,575.

If you are considering moving to Essex and would like to know more information about the local area, schooling options and house prices please do get in touch for a no obligation discussion.