School Catchment Areas for Primary and Secondary Schools in Edinburgh Council Area

There are many reason why people choose to move home. For many of them it’s because they have a baby on the way. Maybe they need more space, maybe they crave a garden or maybe they want to get their child into a good state school. To find out more about catchment areas in Edinburgh area, you’re in the right place so read on!

According to the Center of Economic and Business Research (CEBR) the cost of raising a child up to university has now risen to £277,266. This figure is based on a child receiving free state education up to the age of 18 and then parents funding the child through university. Whilst university tuition fees are free to Scottish students it’s worth remembering that most of the cost comes from living expenses.

With the cost of raising a child being well in excess of £275,000 it’s no wonder parents aim to get the best education they can for their child for free. For many people this might involve moving into a better catchment area to get your child into a certain nursery, primary or secondary school. Of course, many other parents will be having the same thoughts as you, resulting in the property in some catchment areas being more expensive than others.

So how do you find out which school catchment area you fall into? And how do you find out the catchment areas of the best state schools? By heading to the council website. You’ll come to a handy little page which allows you to type in your postcode et voila! Up pops the schools your child is entitled to go to. 

You can also search for the catchment areas of specific schools, so if you’ve heard one school is excellent, you’ll know where you’ll need to move to to get your child in there. What the council website doesn’t do, however is tell you if a school is any good. That joy is left up to you. There are a few websites that tell you how well your local schools rate in the exam league tables but for the most comprehensive guide you’ll need to download and read the full reports from Education Scotland. With some reports as long as 11 pages, you’re in for a treat!

Another great resource for an at a glance guide is You’ll need to create an account for this one though.

Something that parents have to weigh up is how much benefit will moving to a good catchment area have on their child’s education. By overstretching themselves by moving to a better, more expensive catchment area some parents might find themselves unable to give their child the same opportunities they may once have had when there was a little more disposable income within the household. This could be extra-curricular activities such as sport, dance, martial arts or organisations such as Scouts and Brownies. It might also include learning opportunities such as school trips, exchanges and summer schools. Maybe some of the money used to buy another house in a different catchment area could be spent on extra lessons to stretch a particularly bright child or assisting one that needs a helping hand.

Ultimately the decision is up to you. Amanda Wrathall, whose daughter Kenzie is now in secondary school, explained that when her daughter was born she moved from Carrick Knowe to Corstorphine so that she could attend a better secondary school.

“I moved before my daughter started primary school because the secondary school options didn’t appeal,” she says. “I was looking to the future.”

Amanda also has a friend who bought a house specifically with the idea of getting their child into Royal High School, one of the best state secondary schools in the city.

It can work the other way round too, with some people not wanting to move because their child is in such a good school, she points out. “Another friend desperately wanted to move when her marriage broke down but in the end she didn’t, simply because her daughter was in such a good primary school.”

So, which are the best state secondary schools?

We’ve pulled together a run-down of the best schools, based on exam results from December 2012, with students achieving 3+ Highers as well as the areas that you’ll need to live in to be included in the catchment area. Please note that catchment boundaries are a rough guide.

School Students Achieving 3+ Highers Catchment Areas
Boroughmuir High School 37 Bruntsfield, Churchill, Merchiston, Morningside, Greenbank, The Braids, Blackford, Fairmilehead
James Gillespie’s High School 33 Royal Mile, Old Town, Toll Cross, South Side, West End, Fountainbridge, Marchmont, Sciennes, Newington, The Grange
St Thomas of Aquin’s Roman Catholic High School 32 Newhaven, Inverleith, Warriston, New Town, Stockbridge, Broughton, Royal Mile, Old Town, Bruntsfield, Morningside, Newington, Comiston, Colinton, Fairmilehead, Bonaly, Dreghorn, Swanston, Oxgangs
Firrhill High School 22 Longstone, Oxgans, Kingsknowe, Colinton Mains, Comiston, Dreghorn, Bonaly
The Royal High School 22 Crammond, Davidson Mains, Barnton, Silverknowes, Clermiston, Blackhall
Currie High School 21 Currie, Hermiston, Juniper Green Riccarton, Baberton Mains
Craigmount High School 21 Ratho Station, Newbridge, Corstorphine, East Craigs, West Craigs, Murrayfield, Roseburn
Balerno Community High School 18 Balerno, Ratho, Kirknewton
Broughton High School 17 Granton, Drylaw, Pilton, Inverleith, Stockbridge, Orchard Brae, Craigleith
Queensferry High School 17 Dalmeny. Queensferry, Kirkliston, Echline
Portobello High School 13 Portobello, Jocks Lodge, Joppa, Duddingston, Willowbrae, Piershill,
Holy Rood Roman Catholic School 12 Leith, Duddingston, Abbeyhill, Meadowbank, Willowbrae, Portobello, Joppa, Craigmillar, Cameron Toll, The Inch, Gilmerton, Liberton, Moredun, Mortonhall
Leith Academy 8 South Leith, Lochend, Restalrig, Craigentinny, Pilrig, Seafield
St Augustine’s Roman Catholic High School 7 Queensferry, Ratho, Ratho Station, Kirkliston, Dalmeny, Crammond, Muirhouse, Davidson Mains, Silverknowes, Clermiston, Sighthill, Gorgie, Westerhailes, Slateford, Saughton, Currie, Balerno,
Forrester High School 6 Gyle, South Gyle, Broomhouse, Sighthill, Carrick Knowe
Trinity Academy 6 Trinity, Wardie, Warriston, Newhaven, Goldenacre, North Leith
Liberton High School 4 Liberton, Prestonfield, Gilmerton, The Inch, Moredun
Tynecastle High School 4 Saughton, Gorgie, Dalry, Balgreen, Craiglockhart, Stenhouse, Slateford
Drummond Community High School 3 Bonnington, Beaverbank, Broughton, Leith Walk, Hillside, Abbeyhill, New Town, Greenside
Gracemount High School 3 Gracemount, Ellens Glen, Kaimes, Burdiehouse, Alnwickhill
Wester Hailes Education Centre 1 Sighthill, Wester Hailes, Clovestone
Castlebrae High School 0 Craigmillar, Prestonfield, Niddrie, Newcraighall, Bruntstane
Craigroyston High School 0 West Pilton, Muirhouse, Craigroyston, Pilton


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