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Living in Devon

Devon is, in many ways, the dream location. Eminently well connected, London is under two hours away by train from Exeter and the airport can take you far and wide. The county itself is also geographically magnificent, offering something to suit most idyll seekers. From surfing at Croyde, Putsborough and Woolacombe on the North Devon coast to sailing around salubrious Salcombe and the picturesque harbours of the South Devon ‘English Riviera’. Carry on through Brixham via Torquay to Paignton before ending at the palaeontologist’s dream of the Jurassic Coast near Lyme Regis in East Devon. The coastal experiences are rich and varied.  Add to this two flourishing cities: Exeter with its Russell Group university and resultant cosmopolitan culture and Plymouth with its rich maritime history and enviable location. No surprise then that the county is attracting its fair share of re-locators searching for a wilder, freer and more adventurous life. 

Education scene in Devon

Local Education Authorities in Devon
Devon County Council
Plymouth City Council
Torbay Council

Families are somewhat spoilt for choice with the educational options in Devon and this is a big lure for those relocating. The county has some fabulous independent schools, all renowned for their adventurous extra-curricular offerings and inclusive entrance policies, but it also has a widely praised grammar school system and some of the most academically successful non-selective state schools in the UK. 

Devon’s three local authorities (Devon County Council, Plymouth City Council and Torbay Council) use catchment or ‘school designated’ areas for allocating places at schools. Roughly, in rural areas this allows pupils to have designated school places if they live within a ten-mile radius (primary schools) or a 15-mile radius (secondary schools). Please note that catchments are dramatically smaller in urban areas. There are also several denominational schools whose admissions policies prioritise those of faith.

Grammar intakes are based on 11+ exam scores and are open to applicants from any location. Those children applying to multiple grammars in Torbay need only sit one 11+ entrance assessment thanks to the schools seeing sense and setting a single exam which serves them all.

We have split the county into five areas: Exeter, Plymouth, North Devon, South Devon and East Devon and taken a deeper look at the schooling on offer here including the 30 schools in the county that are reviewed by The Good Schools Guide.

Looking for the best schools in Devon? Our education consultants can help

The Good Schools Guide education consultants work with parents from all over the world to successfully find schools that are the perfect fit for their children. With experts spread out across the country, we are sure that we would be able to help your family too whether in Devon or elsewhere. Read about education consultancy services or get in touch by emailing [email protected] 

Your experience of education in Devon

Do you have experience of education in Devon, or indeed elsewhere, that you would like to share with us? We tap into our network of parents and teachers to make sure all the information that we publish is up to date and accurate. Please write to us at [email protected]

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