Proximity to one of the country’s leading schools has added hundreds of thousands – in some cases even millions – of pounds to the value of family houses in key commuter areas of the South-East. According to leading estate agents, parents moving out of London will pay a substantial premium to secure the right house within 20 minutes of their chosen school.

Country Life recommends to expect a hard-fought battle to live near these academic establishments within the commuter belt of London.

Berkshire

1. Abbey School, Reading. High-achieving independent girls’ day school. Fees: £2,980.

2. Bradfield College, Reading. Academic, sporty, independent boys’ day/boarding school (120 6th-form girls). Fees: £5,800 (day), £7,250 (boarding).

3. St George’s School, Ascot. Fashionable, all-round, independent girls’ day/boarding school. Fees: £4,600 (day), £7,200 (boarding).

4. Cheam School, Headley, Newbury. Oversubscribed independent

co-ed day/boarding prep school. Fees: £2,445 (day), £5,775 (boarding)

5. Dolphin School, Hurst, Reading. Young, seriously independent,

co-ed prep day school. Fees: £2,735 to £2,830.

6. St Johns Beaumont, Windsor. Top-drawer Jesuit boys’ day/boarding prep school. Fees: £2,586 to £3,682 (day), £4,860 to £5,762 (boarding).

Buckinghamshire

7. Aylesbury Grammar School, Aylesbury. Top-performing boys’ State day school. Hugely over-subscribed.

8. Dr Challoner’s Grammar School, Amersham. Performance-driven State boys’ day school. Heavily oversubscribed.

9. Dr Challoner’s High School, Little Chalfont. Dynamic traditional girls’ State grammar school. Highly regarded locally.

10. Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe. High-achieving State boys’ day/boarding school. Boarding fees: £3,104 (weekly), £3,500 (full).

Cambridgeshire

11. King’s College School, Cambridge. Renowned choristers’ school, girls/boys day prep school; boys-only boarding. Fees: £3,260 (day), £5,050 (boarding), £1,685 (choristers).

12. The Leys School, Cambridge.Traditional, not overly academic, co-ed senior boarding school. Fees: £4,475 (day), £6.990 (boarding)

13. The Perse School & Perse School for Girls, Cambridge. Large independent girls/boys day schools on different campuses. Fees: £3,465 (boys), £2,810 to £3,300 (girls).

14. Saint John’s College School, Cambridge. Inspirational co-ed chorister/prep school with outstanding computer facilities.

Fees: £2,345 to £3,180 (day), £5,023 (boarding), £1,674 (choristers).

15. Saint Mary’s School, Cambridge. Upwardly mobile independent Roman Catholic girls’ day/boarding school. Fees: £2,990 (day),

£5,990 (boarding).

Essex

16. Bancroft’s School, Woodford Green (linked to Bancroft prep school). Leading independent co-ed day school.

Fees: £3,140 (senior), £2,380 (prep).

17. Chelmsford County High School, Chelmsford. Unashamedly high-achieving

girls’ State day school. 120/600 applicants

taken each year.

18. Chigwell School, Chigwell (linked to Chigwell Junior School). Popular independent co-ed day school (a few boarders) in leafy suburbs.

Fees: £3,523 (day), £4,775 (boarding weekly), £5,394 (boarding full).

19. Colchester County High School for Girls, Colchester.

Highly selective, high-achieving girls State day school. Top 108 of

500 offered places at 11.

20. Colchester Royal Grammar School, Colchester. Top selective boys’ State day school (a few boarders, girls in 6th form). No need to live in Essex.

21. Newport Free Grammar School, Saffron Walden. Former boys’ grammar, now co-ed comprehensive. Unusually wide catchment area.

22. Saffron Walden County High School, Saffron Walden. Huge, heavily-oversubscribed, State co-ed day school. Essential to live in catchment area.

Gloucestershire

23. The Cheltenham Ladies College, Cheltenham. Seriously successful independent girls’ boarding/day school. Fees: 」4,863 to 」5,529 (day), £7,423 to £8,159 (boarding).

24. Cheltenham College, Cheltenham (linked to Cheltenham College Junior School). Popular local independent co-ed boarding/day school. Fees: £5,300(day), £7,150 (boarding).

25. Pate’s Grammar School, Cheltenham. High-performing co-ed State day school. Top 120/750 offered places.

26. Beaudesert Park School, Minchinhampton. Happy independent Church of England co-ed prep school. Fees: £2,590 to £3,735 (day), £4,890 (boarding).

Hampshire

27. Bedales School, Petersfield (linked to Dunhurst/Bedales Junior School). Non-conformist independent co-ed boarding/day school. Fees: £6,040 (day), £7,845 (boarding).

28. King Edward VI School, Southampton. Leading local independent co-ed day school. Competitive entry. Fees: £2,962 per term.

29. Peter Symonds’ College, Winchester. Fast-expanding State 6th-form college, one of top 10 in the country. Non-selective.

30. St Swithun’s School, Winchester (linked to Swithun’s Junior School). Good, middle-of-the-road, independent girls’ day/boarding school. Fees: £3,950 (day); £6,510 (boarding).

31. Farleigh School, Andover. Fashionable independent co-ed prep school. Fees: £4,075 (day), £5,325 (boarding).

32. Twyford School, Twyford, Winchester. Strongly traditional independent co-ed prep school; day and weekly/flexi-boarding only. Fees: £1090 to £3955 (day); £5,115 (boarding).

Hertfordshire

33. Aldenham School, Elstree (linked to Aldenham Preparatory School). Sporty independent boys’ day/boarding school. Fees: £2,500 to £3,266 (day), £4,892 to £6,868 (boarding).

34. Haileybury, Hertford. Progressive, sporty, independent co-ed day/boarding school.

Fees: £3320 to £4993 (day), £4,219 to £6,650 (boarding).

35. St Albans High School for Girls, St Albans (linked to Wheathampstead House Junior School). High-achieving independent girls’ day school. Heavily oversubscribed. Fees: £2,955.

36. St Albans School, St Albans. Solid, upwardly-mobile, independent boys’ day school, founded 948 (girls in 6th form).

37. St Mary’s Catholic School, Windhill, Bishops Stortford. Heavily-oversubscribed co-ed State day school. 95% RCs from catchment area.

Kent

38. Ashford School, Ashford, Kent (linked to Ashford Prepara-tory School). Impressively creative independent girls’ day/boarding school, soon to be co-ed. Fees: £3,696 (day), £5,588 to £2,808 (boarding).

39. Cranbrook School, Cranbrook. Dynamic, high-achieving, state co-ed day/boarding school. Heavily oversubscribed; strict 6.2-mile catchment area. Boarding fees: £2,675 to £2,880.

40. The Judd School, Tonbridge. High-flying boys’ State grammar school (girls in 6th form). Top 120 chosen in order of merit.

41. The King’s School, Canterbury. Heavyweight academic independent co-ed day/boarding school. Fees: £5,760 (day), £7,760 (boarding).

42. Newstead Wood School for Girls, Orpington. Top-performing girls’ State day school; 700 compete for 130 places from nine-mile catchment area.

43. Sevenoaks School, Sevenoaks. Inspirational, forward-thinking, independent co-ed boarding/day school; offers International Baccalaureate. Fees: £4,471 to £5,078 (day), £7,203 to £7, 810 (boarding).

44. Tonbridge Grammar School, Tonbridge. League-topping girls’ State grammar (40 boys in 6th form).

45. Tonbridge School, Tonbridge. Top-class all-round boys’ day/boarding school; Fees: £5,602 (day), £7,928 (boarding).

46. Holmewood House School, Tunbridge Wells. Top-drawer independent co-ed prep day school (a few weekly boarders).

Fees: £2,750 to £4,285 (day); £5,400 (boarding).

Northants/S. Lincs/Rutland

47. Oundle School, Oundle, Northamptonshire (linked to Laxton Junior School). Hard-working independent co-ed day/boarding school with strong family ethos. Fees: £3,424 to £3,995 (day), £5,268 to £6,897 (boarding).

48. Stamford High School, Stamford, south Lincoln-shire. Highly-regarded local independent girls’ day/ boarding school. Fees: £3,004 (day), £5,700 (boarding).

49. Stamford School, Stamford. All-round boys’ independent day/boarding school. Fees: £3,004 (day), £5,700 (boarding).

50. Oakham School, Oakham, Rutland (linked to on-site Jerwoods prep school). Well-endowed, sporty, independent co-ed day/boarding school; Fees: £5,740 (day), £7,140 (boarding).

51. Uppingham School, Uppingham, Rutland. Solid, traditional, co-ed boarding/day school. Fees: £5,250 (day); £7,500 (boarding).

Oxfordshire

52. Burford School, Burford. Oxfordshire’s only co-ed state boarding school; non-selective. Boarding fees: £2,000.

53. The Cherwell School, Oxford. High-performing State co-ed day school. Confusingly variable catchment area.

54. Headington School, Headington Road. Challenging independent girls’ day/boarding school. Fees: £3.230 (day), £5,920 (boarding weekly), £6,150 (boarding full).

55. Oxford High School, Oxford. Fast-improving girls’ independent day school. Fees: £2,455 per term.

56. Shiplake College, Henley-on-Thames. Popular, all-round, independent boys day/boarding school (16 girls in 6th form). Fees: £4,445 (day), £6,590 (boarding).

57. Tudor Hall School, Banbury. Independent girls’ day/boarding school, founded in 1850. Fees: £4,200 (day), £6,515 (boarding).

58. Chandlings Manor School, Kennington, Oxford. Prestigious independent co-ed day prep school. Fees: £2,330-£3,100.

59. Cothill House School, Cothill, near Abingdon. Top-notch independent boys’ boarding prep school. Fees: £5,800 per term.

60. The Dragon School, Oxford. Trend-setting independent co-ed day/boarding prep school. Fees: day, £4,260; boarding, £6,100.

61. Summer Fields School, Summer Fields, Oxford. Dynamic independent boys’ boarding school: Fees: £5,325.

Suffolk

62. Framlingham College, Framlingham, near Woodbridge (linked to Framlingham College Junior School). Well-regarded independent co-ed day/boarding school. Fees: £3,967 (day), £6,172 (boarding).

63. Ipswich High School, Ipswich (linked to Ipswich High School Junior School). Friendly independent girls’ day school. Fees: £2,455.

64. Woodbridge School, Woodbridge. Popular East Anglian independent co-ed school, mainly day, a few boarders. Fees: £3,282 to £3,458 (day), £6,022 (boarding).

Surrey

65. Cranleigh School, Cranleigh. Trendy, over-subscribed, independent co-ed day/boarding school, founded 1865. Fees: £6,035 (day), £7,450 (boarding).

66. George Abbot School, Guildford. Cutting-edge state co-ed day comp-rehensive in middle-class residential area. Entry based on variable catchment area.

67. Gordon’s School, Woking. Top-performing state co-ed day/ boarding school; heavily oversubscribed. Boarding fees: £3,013 (full); £2,729 (weekly).

68. Guildford High School, Guildford. High-achieving independent girls’ day school. Fees: £1,979 to £2,698.

69. The Royal Grammar School, Guildford (linked to Lanesborough Junior School). Top-flight boys independent day school, founded 1552.

Fees: £3,154 to £3,305.

70. St Catherine’s School, Bramley (linked to St Catherine’s prep school). Major-league independent girls’ day/boarding school.

Fees: £3,710 (day), £6,105 (boarding).

71. St George’s College, Weybridge. High-rolling independent co-ed day school. Fees: £3,275 to £3,770.

72. Tormead School, Guildford. High-achieving, cosmopolitan, independent girls’ day school. Fees: £1,380 to £2,900.

73. Woldingham School, Woldingham. Sumptuous independent girls’ day/boarding school in Britain’s wealthiest village. Fees: £4,230 (day), £7,080 (boarding).

74. Cranmore School, West Horsley, Leatherhead. Competitive, sporty, independent Roman Catholic boys’ day school. Fees: £1,100 to £2,950.

75. Danes Hill School, Leatherhead. High-octane independent co-ed day school. Fees: £2,393 to £3,375.

Sussex

76. Ardingly College, Haywards Heath, West Sussex (linked to Ardingly Junior School). Surprisingly unsung inde-pendent boys’ day/boarding school in verdant setting. Fees: £5,120 (day), £6,840 (boarding).

77. Bishop Luffa Church of England School, Chichester, West Sussex. High-achieving state co-ed comprehensive. Consistently oversubscribed.

78. Christs Hospital School, Horsham, West Sussex. Unorthodox independent co-ed boarding school, founded 1553. Fees based on ability to pay.

79. Westbourne House School, Shropwyke, Chichester, West Sussex. Jolly independent co-ed day/boarding prep school. Fees: £1,800 to £3,450 (day), £4,290 (boarding).

80. Ashdown House School, Forest Row, East Sussex. Extraordinarily successful small independent co-ed boarding prep school, in fabulous rural setting. Fees: £5,700 a term.