Education tends to be a pretty staid, if not conservative, sector, but the underlying analysis and associated data presentation available for the education market is moving very fast.
By way of example, at Education Geographics (EGS) we’re now starting our third year of producing online and interactive school dashboards and maps, and we are already heading up to 115 Non-Government client schools in Australia. At last count, our schools enrol about one in five Independent school children across all fee ranges.
To drive continual improvements in the underlying data, we’ve updated our spatial demand measures to the end of 2018 and we’ve found that these will tend to be a useful measure of demand by middle class families for Independent school places for 2019. During the year we will continue to update the dashboards with six monthly figures, so schools get an idea of demand by mid-2019, as they set fees for 2020. We are now producing the annual demand changes by maps as well, so schools can see which areas in their school catchment may have been impacted by digital disruption. This can come in handy when planning enrolment campaigns and bus routes.
We’ve also updated our roll profiles, which show schools the average fees at every level being paid every year across their catchment by parents, so EGS clients can see whether their parents are spending more or less on school fees than their neighbours. In a prosperous economy, parents are prepared to pay more; in a downturn, the urge is to save money, especially if investments in real estate are heading south. We’ve written on this before on our EGS site: https://www.educationgeographics.net.au/competition-at-the-coalface/
In addition, we now show the same bell curve distribution we’ve been doing for the range of fees, for the range of client school SES scores and for their parental income estimates. We call this our PIE Score as this sounded more polite than some of the alternative acronyms that were available.
The PIE score was tricky, as we can’t match parents with their individual tax returns and we hope that society never becomes so intrusive that we can, so we modelled an average standardised score for school parents for their local neighbourhood, using publicly available data in which privacy is protected. It isn’t the same as the actual figures the Government will be using to determine future funding of Non-Government schools, but it will give schools some idea of the extent to which their parents’ income is out of step with the SES scores and Fees currently paid.
If you want to see an earlier map on this subject, go to our website to view an article and interactive online map. https://www.educationgeographics.net.au/ses-funding-map/