There’s no hiding the fact that the cost of living in the UK is high. And house prices reflect that – whether you’re renting or purchasing a new home. For those moving to the capital, London house searches can be timely and expensive. With 32 London boroughs to choose from, narrowing down the areas you want to live in can seem daunting. For expats moving to London, we suggest engaging with a local area expert, who can match you to areas that meet your needs. And if you’ve accepted a new job in London but hate city life, consider a move to Brighton or Essex or one of the other easily commutable suburban or seaside areas.

Looking online is the simplest and best way to discover what’s currently available on the market and to gauge average prices in your area. It’s important to look around and at a variety of home types, as prices do vary even within a given area. For many people moving to the UK, their budget will highly influence the kind of properties you can look at. Whether renting or buying, expect higher prices in London and in the south in general.

The UK education system

The vast majority of schooling is state-run and free for children to attend up to the age of 18. There are nurseries that provide childcare for those under 4, offering a variety of amenities and services. Most families enter their children into nursery around 18 months to 2 years.

Primary schools teach children from the ages of 4 to 11 and then they move onto secondary school. There are comprehensive schools which can be attended by anyone, and grammar schools which require an examination to be taken for entry. These facilities are all state funded, and all classes are taught in English. You can see their ratings using the Ofsted service which regulates schooling.

There’s also private schooling, or international schools available for a fee. The most common qualifications are A-levels, and the Higher in Scotland, but the International Baccalaureate can also be found in certain establishments.

Every school operates within a catchment area, so it is worth considering which schools fall within your area before committing to accommodation.