- The Orkney Islands, Shetland and the Western Isles are among the best places to set up home if you have a family, according to Halifax
- The Western Isles have been bumped down to fourth place by new entrant Craven, which is in Yorkshire and the Humber
- The factors taken into account when measuring a child’s quality of life in a particular area included class size, spending per pupil and academic results.
The Scottish highlands and islands have come out top in a study that has ranked the 50 best places in the UK to live if you have a family.
The Orkney Islands, Shetland and the Western Isles were among the top places in a quality of life index drawn up by the Halifax.
The Orkney Islands and Shetland retain the two top spots they occupied in last year’s study, while the Western Isles have been bumped down to fourth place by new entrant Craven, which is in Yorkshire and Humber.
Map shows the top 10 best places to live if you have children, according to Halifax
The factors taken into account when measuring a child’s quality of life in a particular area included class size, spending per pupil and academic results.
The region with the most spots in the top 50 best places to bring up children is the South East, which includes Hart, Waverley, Woking, Mole Valley and Test Valley.
The Orkney islands have been named as the best place to live if you have children
|South Lakeland||North West||7|
|North Warwickshire||West Midlands||29|
|Craven||Yorkshire and The Humberside||13|
|Suffolk Coastal||East of England||49|
|County Durham||North East||229|
Along with the three groups of Scottish islands, a further 10 places in the top 50 are in Scotland, including the Highlands, Perth & Kinross, Argyle & Bute, Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders.
Seven of the top 50 are in the East Midlands, including the local authorities of Rutland, Erewash and Harborough.
There are also seven in the East of England, including the local authorities of Suffolk Coastal, South Norfolk and Chelmsford.
The Shetland Islands have been named the second best place to live if you have children
|Group||Local Authority District|
|Highest employment rate: 89.1%|
|(GB average is 75.2%)|
|Highest average number of rooms in house: 6.4(GB average is 5.4 rooms)||Uttlesford||East of England|
|South Bucks||South East|
|% of households with more than 5Mbps – and where more than half of household have chance of having superfast broadband: 100%2||Liverpool||North West|
|(GB average is 86.0%)||Tamworth||West Midlands|
|Rochford||East of England|
|Epsom and Ewell||South East|
|Lowest population density per sqr km: 9|
|(GB- 279 per sq/km)|
|Lowest traffic flows per square km: 80.1 cars /km|
|(GB- 9,729 per sq/km)|
|Lowest average number of pupils in primary school class: 17.3 (GB average is 27.06 pupils per class)|
|Highest % of 15+ yr olds with 5 or more GCSEs A-C grade or Scottish equivalent:|
|97.9 (GB average is 60.861)|
|Highest average state school (primary and secondary) spending per pupil: £9,662 (GB average is £4,643)|
|Lowest secondary school pupil teacher ratio: 13.4 (GB average is 20.94)|
|North Warwickshire||East Midlands|
|Highest personal well-being (average of life satisfaction, worthwhile, happiness and anxiety): 7.0 (GB average 6.5)|
|Source: Halifax March 2016|
The northern tip of Scottish islands ranks well in the list due to the primary school class size of 17.3 and pupil to teacher ratio in secondary schools of 13.4 in the Western Islands – the lowest in Britain.
It compares to an average primary school size nationwide of 27 and a pupil to teacher ratio nationwide of 20.9.
At the same time, an average school spend in the Orkneys of £9,662 per pupil is the highest in the survey, just over twice the national average of £4,643.
The spending ratio in the Western Islands and Shetlands follow at £9,128 and £8,701 per pupil respectively.
The three Scottish islands also see children being able to walk about in relative freedom, with an average of 81 vehicles for square kilometre in the Western Islands, 147 in the Orkneys and 150 in the Shetlands, compares to 9,729 in Britain.
On the flip side, there’s bad news for children who like online games, with only between 86 per cent and 71 per cent of households having access to fast broadband – significantly below the national average of 94 per cent.
Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, said: ‘Different areas have aspects that appeal to parents’ individual preferences – where some may consider employment levels and class sizes, others may more drawn to exam results or amenities in an area itself.’
|Local Authority||Region||Ranking 2017|
|Craven||Yorkshire and The Humber||3|
|South Lakeland||North West||6|
|North Warwickshire||West Midlands||7|
|Richmondshire||Yorkshire and The Humber||10|
|Perth & Kinross||Scotland||13|
|Suffolk Coastal||East of England||18|
|Harrogate||Yorkshire and The Humber||19|
|Mole Valley||South East||20|
|Argyll & Bute||Scotland||23|
|Dumfries & Galloway||Scotland||25|
|South Norfolk||East of England||26|
|Test Valley||South East||27|
|Chelmsford||East of England||28|
|St Edmundsbury||East of England||29|
|Ribble Valley||North West||30|
|West Oxfordshire||South East||31|
|Selby||Yorkshire and The Humber||32|
|Basingstoke and Deane||South East||38|
|North Hertfordshire||East of England||40|
|South Kesteven||East Midlands||41|
|Uttlesford||East of England||42|
|Newark and Sherwood||East Midlands||43|
|South Bucks||South East||44|
|Central Bedfordshire||East of England||45|
|New Forest||South East||49|
|South Northamptonshire||East Midlands||50|
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