School Choices: Beyond League Tables
Created by Mark Woodbridge.
I'm a Developer in London, United Kingdom. I'm currently freelancing.
We're building an innovative open source platform that helps parents to research and compare schools via a single destination by integrating traditional metrics with qualitative information typically neglected by league tables. A standardised synopsis will be automatically compiled for each school, comprising basic details such as location and contact details, statistics regarding the school and its students, but also supplemental information that differentiates one institution from another such as:
- The school's activities and achievements in specialist subject areas
- Media coverage of the school, its staff and pupils
- Recent news from the school itself, as well as upcoming events
- Contextual knowledge from third-party sources such as Wikipedia
- Links to relevant and appropriate sources of discussion and review such as Mumsnet
- Selected metrics where the school shows significant divergence from similar institutions and their trends
We are motivated by a belief that when it comes to applying to schools, parents should be empowered to make informed decisions based not only on quantitative data regarding performance and practical concerns such as catchment or entrance criteria, but also whether the school will suit their child's personality, ability, needs and interests.
Our intelligently aggregated profiles aim to highlight positive or distinctive attributes wherever possible, providing a real-time view of the school's and its students' accomplishments. We believe this will offer a more dynamic, rounded and forward-looking view than retrospective data (such as exam results or inspection reports) can in isolation.
Ultimately we envision schools would push information and updates directly to their profiles, providing prospective and current parents with a greater level of transparency regarding the school and its progress. This could lead to a new level of engagement, community-building and bilateral accountability between parents and schools. There is also potential for customisation and co-curation, with parents choosing which facets are important to their children’s learning priorities, plus links to relevant endorsed online resources.
- EduBase (http://www.education.gov.uk/edubase/home.xhtml)
- Department of Education Performance Tables (http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/performance/download_data.html)
- Attainment by Pupil Characteristics (http://data.gov.uk/dataset/attainment_by_pupil_characteristics)
- Schools' websites
- Other curated data sources/APIs
Collate data from relevant sources to inform parental choice and to produce a new open dataset suitable for reuse
Provide a consistent, usable interface to the data that highlights relevant strengths and trends
Enable parents to efficiently and effectively identify potential schools for their child, and subsequently stay engaged