We have a young son and were planning to move house to a new area (in north London). Given the experience of friends and family, we realised that our house search would need to take into account the local schools. However, we didn't realise that it would end up being driven entirely by schools.
I started researching schools and had a look at the local authority website to find information about admissions. Perhaps naively, I was surprised at how strict the criteria are for admission to faith schools. I don't have a faith, or any inclination to pretend to have one, so our options were limited. After quite a lot of effort I worked out that we would need to live on the doorstep of a good community school to have a chance of getting in.
As a result of our experience, and due to the research that I had already done, I decided to build a website to help other parents undertake the same research, i.e. work out where you might need to live to get into a school. This has turned into a more general tool to help parents find, research and compare local primary schools. The site is now live here
Its main selling point is that it takes data from Local Authorities on admissions - specifically, the furthest home to school distance of a successful applicant in previous years - and plots this as an area on a map. This is the approximate area where you would have needed to live in order to get into the school. (Obviously, there is a caveat that the distances and areas change from year to year, and so there can be no guarantees about success of admissions in future years.) I noticed in the last few days that Hackney has started to publish maps showing these areas in their primary school admissions brochure.
I have only collated information on admissions for Greater London and central Manchester so far, but plan to add more areas in the future. Also, some LAs seem to keep admissions data closely guarded, so I can't offer the service for those LAs.
The site is still being developed, so apologies if you find things that don't work so well. Any feedback on the site would be gratefully received.