Ask any parent, and they’ll tell you they want the best education possible for their children. More than simply grades on a page, a good education can pave the way to success for the next generation, securing their spots in top universities and, eventually, high-paying careers.
Thankfully, Scotland’s educational landscape boasts renowned schools in abundance, both in the private and state-funded sectors, making getting your child an exemplary education easier than ever. For families with young children looking ahead to the high school years, moving to the right catchment area can help ensure your child has the best start. For those with teenagers hoping to enrol their kids in a better school, knowing which ones you want and which catchments you can afford will help prepare you for your next big move.
We’ve compiled a list of Scotland’s top 10 state schools achieving Nicola Sturgeon’s “gold standard in Highers” (the percentage of students graduating with 5 Higher grades) and the average house prices in their catchment areas. Organised from highest to lowest, read on to arm yourself with the right knowledge before taking the leap.
Sitting at number one with a whopping 91% of students graduating with 5 Highers, Jordanhill secondary school is located in Glasgow’s West End. Funded entirely by a grant from the Scottish Government rather than a local authority, this school is the only one of its kind in the country and has a strong reputation for educational excellence.
The average house price in Jordanhill School’s postcode was £259,190 in 2021. According to The Times, this is a 39% increase over the average price for a home in Glasgow City council, highlighting that attending this prestigious school comes at an increased cost for those wishing to live nearby — as we’ll see throughout this list, this trend follows many of Scotland’s most exceptional state schools.
Bearsden Academy is a non-denominational state secondary school in Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire. With 81% of its students graduating with 5 Highers in 2021, the school boasts impressive educational performance, coming in at number two.
The average house price in the school’s postcode (G61 3SF) sits at £411,841, an increase of 51% compared to the East Dunbartonshire average of £273,264.
Coming in at number 3, Cults Academy is a secondary school based in Cults, Aberdeen. Awarded The Sunday Times “Scottish State Secondary School of the Year” in 2008, 78% of its students achieved 5 Highers in 2021.
The average house price for a home in Cults Acamdey’s postcode (AB15 9TP) was £359,976 in 2021, a significant increase on the average Aberdeen City Council’s house price, which was £193,377 in the same year — a whopping 86% jump.
St Ninian’s High School
Tying at number three with Cults Academy, St Ninian’s High School is a co-educational, Roman Catholic secondary school based in Giffnock, East Renfrewshire. An impressive 78% of its students achieved 5 Highers in 2021, making this school a fantastic choice for people of the Catholic faith who want to ensure their children have access to stellar education.
The average house price in St Ninian’s postcode (G46 6UG) was £429,571 in 2021, an increase of 52% compared to average prices in East Renfrewshire in the same year.
Williamwood High School
Based in Clarkston, East Renfrewshire, Williamwood High School is a non-denominational comprehensive secondary school with around 1700 pupils. 77% of its students graduated with 5 Highers in 2021, and the school is widely known for being one of Scotland’s top educational institutions.
The first to buck the trend, the average house price for Williamwood High School’s postcode (G76 8RF) in 2021 was £238,132 — a 16% decrease from the average cost of a home in the East Renfrewshire Council, which was £283,226 in the same year.
Glasgow Gaelic School
Glasgow Gaelic School, located in the city’s heart, teaches its students exclusively in Gaelic. One of only 60 in the country, this unique institution saw 76% of its 2021 cohort graduate with 5 Highers, making it a fantastic choice for parents looking to ensure educational excellence and Scottish culture for their children.
In 2021, the average house price in Glasgow Gaelic School’s postcode (G3 7HP) was £290,166, a 56% increase from Glasgow City Council’s average cost of £185,882.
Dunblane High School
Dunblane High School in Stirling is a six-year comprehensive school which saw three-quarters of its students, an impressive 75%, graduate in 2021 with 5 Highers. The average price of a home in Dunblane High School’s postcode (FK15 9EW) was £272,175 last year, an increase of 17% compared to Stirling Council’s average house price of £232,340.
Gryffe High School
Gryffe High School is a non-denominational secondary school in Houston, Renfrewshire. Last year, 74% of the school’s students graduated with 5 Highers, ranking them at eight on our list.
The average price of a home in Gryffe High School’s postcode (PA6 7EB) was £246,110, a 52% increase from £162,032, the average price in Renfrewshire Council.
Boroughmuir High School
The only school from Scotland’s capital on the list, Boroughmuir High School is a non-denominational school in the heart of Edinburgh’s city centre. Last year, an outstanding 73% of their students graduated after achieving 5 Highers.
Surprisingly for a central location in the capital, the average price for Boroughmuir’s postcode (EH11 1FL) was £242,318, a decrease of 17% from Edinburgh City Council’s average house price of £293,092. For Edinburgh-based families looking for educational excellence, this may be music to the ears.
Last but not least, Bishopbriggs Academy comes in at number ten on our list. Based in Bishopbriggs in East Dunbartonshire, this non-denominational state school saw 73% of its 2021 students graduate with 5 Highers.
The average house price for Bishopbriggs Academy’s postcode (G64 1HZ) was £189,064 in 2021, a 31% decrease in the average price for East Dunbartonshire Council, which was £273,264 in the same year.
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