When choosing a location you may want to consider the local transport links, the local neighbourhood, the local healthcare services available, and the local school and childcare services. You can also reach out to your new lab/team for advice from others who may have recently made the move to London.
Local transport links
London is a big city and its central areas are unaffordable for most people. The majority of people who work in London, therefore, travel some distance to get to work.
Very few people who work in London drive to work. The majority use public transport, many cycle and some are lucky enough to live close enough to walk to work.
The price of rent is strongly influenced by proximity to central London and by transport connections.
The Crick is very central, so most Crick staff will not live very nearby, but it is well-connected by public transport.
Local transport links detail
Visiting an area before choosing to settle in it is important. The different parts of London vary so much that areas which are very close to one another may have a very different feel. The safety of the area and the local amenities are important to consider.
Local neighbourhood detail
Local education varies across London and demand for places is high.
The British state school system offers free education for 4-18 year olds, and uses a national curriculum to maintain standards. Alongside state schools there are fee-paying independent schools; these are outside government control. Schools run for three terms, with examinations in the summer term of certain years.
Most state schools are not selective based on academic ability; instead they usually have a set of criteria to decide which children get places. The primary factor is normally location: children who live near the school (in the "catchment area") get places.
Catchment areas vary each year, and if you have children of school age, they will probably have an impact on your decision about where to live. Houses in catchment areas for well-regarded schools are considered very desirable (rent and and property prices will reflect this). For more information on catchment areas click here.
It can be difficult to plan out school applications. Most Crick staff choose an area they like the feel of that has some good schools and a good overall reputation for education. It is not usually advisable to choose an area by one or two schools only as a place is never guaranteed.
The best advice we can give for choosing a school is to ask colleagues at the Crick for their insights into where they live and which schools they recommend. HR can help provide contact details for staff with children of a similar age to help in the decision-making process.