findaschool.info is designed to help you find and research primary and secondary schools in England. Choosing a school for your child is often a difficult process. We collect and collate data from a variety of sources on things like exam performance, pupil characteristics and school admissions, and present it in an easily digestible format to help you make this important decision.
One of the fundamental tenets of current education policy in England is parental choice - well informed consumers selecting the best schools for their children is meant to create forces and incentives in the school system which will drive up quality. There are lots of websites around, including the performance tables site from the Department of Education, which provide information about school exam results, Ofsted reports, and the like. However, you are unlikely to face a genuine choice between your local schools due to capacity constraints. A rising birth rate is increasing competition for places at primary schools, and this larger cohort will presumably be reaching secondary school age in a few years. In conjunction with ever stricter criteria for entry to faith schools, your choice is likely to be significantly constrained.
findaschool.info helps you to assess your chances of gaining admission to community schools, and therefore helps you to understand which of the local schools are genuine options. State school admissions for popular schools are usually allocated according to where you live with priority going to those living closest to the school. We plot maps showing the areas where you would have needed to live to get a place at the school in previous years.
These areas change from year to year, sometimes quite dramatically. However, they are still the best guide as to your chances of getting a place at an oversubscribed community school. This is obviously an important factor for many families when considering where to live, especially when making the decision to buy a house. (In fact, the site was started as a spin off of personal research into where to live in London.)
Our aim is to provide a set of tools to help you find and compare schools, and subject to data availability, to work out your chances of getting a place at the school given where you live (or plan to live).
- We allow you to compare up to 5 schools side by side. In this comparison we present charts and tables with selected data on exam performance (Key Stage 2, i.e. SATs; GCSE; A level). The government publishes an overwhelming number of statistics on school performance. We present only a small number of key indicators which we hope is sufficient to give you an idea of the relative performance of each school.
- In addition, we present Ofsted report grades and provide links to the underlying reports. Many private schools are not reviewed by Ofsted, and so we also provide links to the Independent Schools Inspectorate.
- We also present statistics from the annual pupil census. This gives details about the social make-up of the pupils in the school, such as the percentage of pupils taking free school meals and the proportion who do not have English as a first language.
- As discussed above, we present admissions information for community primary schools to help you better understand your chances of getting a place at the school. At present, we have collected admissions data for primary schools in London, Manchester, Surrey, Cambridgeshire and Warwickshire. We plan to add secondary schools and other local authorities in the future.
- Finally, you can search for homes for sale or to rent, and add these properties to the map. Subject to data availability, you can then see whether these homes are within a particular school admission area (i.e. had you been living at this home last year, would you likely have got a place at the school).
Have you found the site useful in your search for a schools, or perhaps a new place to live? Is it missing features or data that would help you with this process? Or have you noticed data that is out-of-date or just wrong? Please do let us know, either by using the feedback form below, or by sending an email to email@example.com.
This site would not be possible without a number of inputs from around the web.
We make use of a number of Google services. In particular,
- some of the source data is stored in a Google Fusion Table;
- the maps are created using the Google Maps API; and
- the charts and tables are created using the Google Charts API.
The icons used on the map are courtesy of the Maps Icons Collection - http://mapicons.nicolasmollet.com
Of course, there wouldn't be much to this site without the underlying data. Thanks to the various government departments and local authorities for publishing it in the first place.
Copyright and company information
findaschool.info is copyright findaschool Ltd.
findaschool Ltd is incorporated with company number 07756654.