Helping find the right route for young people through 6th form and beyond

Created by Steve Preston.

I'm a Product Manager in London, United Kingdom. I work at MIME Consulting. Previously, I've worked at Andersen, RSe Consulting, Wandsworth Borough Council. I earned a B.A. from Nottingham University.

Project Description

Using open data on the post-16 performance of schools and colleges in different subjects, SkillsRoute allows parents and young people to identify providers in their area at which they are likely to achieve their goals by age 18, showing projected grades in their chosen subjects. In turn, SkillsRoute then shows the higher education options that will be available based on the grades they are projected to obtain.

1. Maps out schools, colleges and apprenticeship providers within a selected distance of the young person’s home that offer their chosen subjects, along with travel times
2. Provides personalised projections of post-16 grades (when an individual's GCSE grades are entered) and how these vary between institution and by subject, based on those institutions’ prior performance in those subjects
3. Lists potential higher education destinations based on their projected UCAS points
4. Allows for the setting of stretch targets to show potential higher education destinations should they work hard to improve grades
5. Provides a clear, visual dashboard of each provider, including Ofsted grades, other performance statistics and contextual information, explained in language all parents can understand
6. Links to resources which support the achievement of the best possible grades (for example online learning resources, extra learning opportunities and charities that offer advice to those applying to university)

Open data to be used:
- Level 3 value added data by institution -
- Post-16 Qualification and Subject Data -
- National Success Rates from the Data Service -
- Ofsted grades -

The challenge we are tackling

Each year in England approximately 40,000 Year 12 students drop out of school before the end of their post-16 programme of study; this represents a startling 20% of all learners in schools. Furthermore, a simply astonishing 150,000 of all AS-Level exams sat are given a U grade each year, meaning the young person has nothing to show for their first year of post-16 study. These young people not only waste a year of their education, but they also lose confidence and direction, and this has a significant impact on their subsequent life chances.

A major reason behind the high level of drop out is that young people take up inappropriate courses because parents and their children do not have clear and full information about courses suited to the child’s ability. We are developing SkillsRoute to directly tackle this problem.

SkillsRoute will:
- Improve “market-efficiency” for post-16 education, by removing the inertia of those staying in the same school post-16 choosing from a restricted range of qualifications and subjects.
- Engage parents in their children’s post-16 study by clearly demonstrating what a likely outcome for their child is based on their prior attainment. Parents therefore know if their child is falling behind, and can use SkillsRoute to identify additional support that is available (such as personal tutors or online resources).
- Give parents a mechanism to hold schools to account over their post-16 performance.

We also know from our previous work with schools that they will value the more advanced, chargeable features of SkillsRoute which will ensure its longer term sustainability. These features will include the uploading of student data in bulk to identify appropriate progression options for their whole cohort (which is particularly important for schools without sixth forms).

The design and layout of the site will be shaped by the parental input we receive throughout the Challenge Weekend. Throughout the whole development process we will continue to work with potential users to ensure that it meets the needs of the user base.

Project Goals

  • By the end of the Creation Weekend: Have a working, interactive prototype for London

  • Subsequently: Scale up the prototype for the entire country, and work on improvements to interface design

  • Longer term: Implement advanced, chargeable features for schools (e.g. bulk upload) to ensure sustainability

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Dan Murphy

Very similar to an idea I was just about to post, except the idea was to make it more of a game and combine it with dataset from

The players choose where they want to go and get given options on how to get there. At the end of the game they score based on the choices they made and likelihood of success, plus they also get a plan (and perhaps plan b) which they can then look to follow.

Interested ?


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