Winchester
Winchester

With education high on the list when choosing where to live it’s not only quantity that’s important but quality. Winchester schools deliver on both

School location has always been top of the hitlist for family homebuyers and in Winchester homebuyers are literally spoilt for choice by the number of Winchester schools. Both the sheer scale and quality of schooling in the area is becoming a major reason for London commuters with families to move out of town and choose Winchester as their new base.

Quantity…

The Hampshire city is served by 36 Winchester schools in all. These include 29 primary schools, 11 secondary schools and 6 schools for pupils aged 16 to 18. Of these 14 are community schools, 12 are voluntary controlled or aided (ie affiliated with a foundation or trust) and seven are independent schools with three further education colleges completing the mix.

..and quality

But it’s not just the quantity that wins buyers over but quality too. The concentration of schooling in the city has led to intense competition and as a result standards that exceed the average. Last year alone the top Winchester schools continued to outperform the national average of 59.2% for pupils achieving five or more A* to C grades at GSCE according to school performance tables produced by the Department for Education.

How individual schools rank

St Swithun’s

For independent girls day and boarding school St Swithun’s 100% of pupils achieved five or more A* to C GCSEs or equivalent, including English and Maths in 2013 – and have done so since 2010 at least. 100% also achieved at least 2 A levels at grades A* to E last year whilst more than three quarters (78%) achieved 3 A levels at grades AAB or higher in at least two facilitating subjects.

Winchester College

Although figures are not available through Department for Education’s school performance tables for 2013 for Winchester College the independent boys school has also performed strongly over recent years – with 98% of pupils achieving five or more A* to C grades in 2010, 99% in 2011 and 94% in 2012. For older pupils 79% achieved D3 or above – the equivalent of grade A at A level in 2013 and 45 leavers went to Oxbridge in the same year.

The Westgate School

The Westgate school, a mixed comprehensive community school in Winchester which is also Hampshire’s first 4 to 16 all through school, achieved 84% of pupils getting five or more A* to C grades at GCSE or equivalent level in 2013, up 10% on the year before. The 2013 results put it in the top three of similar schools in England with an average grade of B+.

King’s School

The school is followed closely behind by Kings’ School – another state funded mixed comprehensive school in Winchester where 83% of pupils achieved five or more A* to C grades at GCSE level or equivalent. The school, which serves 11 to 16 year olds and has more than 1600 pupils, has also been judged as outstanding by OFSTED on four consecutive occasions.

Percentage of pupils achieving five or more A* to C grades at GCSE level in 2013

Source: The Department of Education School Performance Tables

 

School Name Type % 5+ A*-C GCSE (inc Eng & Maths)
St Swithun’s School Independent School 100%
The Westgate School Community School 84%
Kings’ School Community School 83%

 

 

Children, young people and staff from Naomi House & Jacksplace were lucky enough to meet first team players from London Irish Rugby Club this week.
They were given a guided tour of their new state-of-the-art training complex in Hazelwood, before taking part in a rugby masterclass with Jamie Hagan, Topsy Ojo and Tom Smallbone.
The day was made possible thanks to their sponsors, Upham Brewery, who also donated its shirt branding rights to Naomi House and Jacksplace at last Friday’s (24th October) European Challenge Cup game against Grenoble in France.
David Butcher, Director of Upham Brewery, said: “We were delighted to donate the space on the players’ shirts for last week’s game to Naomi House and Jacksplace. The brewery is community-focused and a keen supporter of the charity and their commitment to helping both sick children and their families who have to contend with severe illness.”
Activities Co-coordinator for Naomi House, Katy Robinson, said “The children, young people and staff had a wonderful time, and it was great to be able to offer them such a special opportunity! Our thanks go to everyone at London Irish for accommodating us and to Upham Brewery for making it possible. The players were brilliant with the children and made it a day to remember.”

via Children & young people meet London Irish Rugby Club.

 

Winchester rental rates remain high and properties to rent are in short supply. House prices over the last 12 months have continued to rise and it is not unusual for a house to be on the market and to be under offer within a couple of days.

Here we consider some of the reasons for Winchester being such a popular place for families to move to.

People have moved into Winchester from London and whilst Winchester is considerable more expensive than the nearby areas of Eastleigh and Southampton a house in Winchester will cost considerably less than an equal sized property in London. Winchester also has an abundance of period Victorian terraced houses which Londoners are particularly drawn too, pushing property prices up.

The secondary schools in Winchester are excellent. The two most popular schools in Winchester are Kings and Westgate and both have consistently received good results in GCSEs over a number of years. The latest Ofsted reports rate Kings as Outstanding and Westgate as good. Families move to Winchester to ensure that they are in the catchment area for these two schools and can therefore be assured that their children will receive a good and free education. Whilst both schools finish a child’s education at the age of sixteen most of these children will then move to the equally praised sixth form college Peter Symonds which is also located in Winchester. Peter Symonds was rated by Ofsted during its last inspection in 2008 as Outstanding and it has a pass rate at A level of 99%. The education facilities in Winchester play a large part in its popularity as a place to move into.

Winchester has an equally impressive transport system. Its small train station is in the city centre and links Winchester directly to London in just over an hour as well as having good links to the South Coast and the North of England as well as Scotland. Houses that are located close to the train station sell and rent quickly for obvious reasons. The bus network is also good. The Bluestar 1 links Winchester to many of the surrounding villages and towns and Stagecoach provides a good transport link for students.

As well as superb education facilities Winchester has good medical facilities with a hospital just a short distance from the centre. The hospital saw in September 91% of its patients being seen by a consultant in under 18 week with attendances being 8.2% higher than they were in 2013.

For those that are interested in history, Winchester cathedral draws in visitors from all over the UK and abroad and the shopping is outstanding. Winchester has moved away from busy internal shopping centres and large cinema complexes and instead retains a market town feel. There are regular farmer’s markets held, antique markets, as well as local produce and craft markets. Boutiques and privately owned cafes sit side by side the chain stores such as Boots, Debenhams and Costa Coffee. With its cobbled streets, pedestrian centre and historical buildings it is no wonder that people are clambering to get on the property ladder in this wonderful town and become full blown Wintonians.

 

Buying a property for most people is the single most expensive purchase of their lifetime.

Yet thinking they are saving money many people often forgo a full survey on a property that they are buying.

It’s really important to get independent, expert advice, said Mark Davis, a RICS surveyor and valuer and director of Trinity Rose in Basingstoke Road, Kings Worthy, Winchester.

A full survey will cost on average £1000 and is far more detailed than the homebuyers survey which in comparison costs just a few hundred pounds. However the more detailed full survey will reveal any short comings on the home that you are purchasing such as a boiler that is not functioning, subsidence or a fault with the property roof. Any faults that this type of survey reveals can be used to further negotiate the sale price.

Winchester has many listed buildings as it has deep roots in history and its many quirky houses in the centre of the city reflect this.

Walking distance to the centre of the city of Winchester and the railway station with its excellent links into London reveals an abundance of Victorian terraced houses. Prices for a four bedroom start from £525,000 and can go upwards to £850,000, with listed buildings commanding a premium.

Typical problems that one would find in a Winchester Victorian terraced house would be high level issues such as damaged chimneys, flashing and problems with corroded nails that hold the roof tiles down. To fix these issues scaffolding would usually be required due to the height of the issues and this would mean the costs of repairs escalate. Roof trusses in Victorian buildings can be prone to woodworm and a full survey would highlight any such issues.

Four out of five home buyers do not get a full survey. They could potentially be left with a property requiring thousands of pounds spent on it to make it structurally safe.

If you are thinking of buying a listed home or an older property in Winchester, do consider taking out a full survey. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors lists over 80,000 Chartered Surveyors, fully qualified and who strict codes of practice.

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