Claire and Kenny Smith did their research before they packed up their young family and moved from Paddington to the north shore.
With their eldest child, Charlie, 4, starting school next year, the couple felt they had to do some long-term planning and wanted to be in a suburb that not only had good public primary schools, but also good public high schools.
The north shore seemed like their best option and they settled on Chatswood East so they would be in the boundary for Chatswood Primary, one of Sydney’s most popular primary schools.
They are renting until they decide on which school to send Charlie and later her brother, Noah, 19 months, and then they buy in that catchment.
Mrs Smith, a program manager at a telecommunications company, said her husband studied the MySchool website and was impressed by the NAPLAN results for Chatswood, Artarmon and Willoughby public schools.
Chatswood and Artarmon have selective opportunity classes for gifted and talented children.
“We are going to look at Chatswood [public] next week, but we will also look at Artarmon, Willoughby and maybe Castle Cove – and if we need to move again, we will,” Mrs Smith said.
“It could mean we end up moving three times but we are prepared to do that.”
The couple, from Northern Ireland, said they could not believe Sydney’s obsession with private schools.
“We would rather put our money into a house than private education because in Northern Ireland everyone gets a good education for free and no one goes to private schools,” Mrs Smith said.