London Schools Atlas
The London Schools Atlas is a real triumph of the city data agenda. It illustrates perfectly the power of accessing previously locked up data and using it in innovative ways to help solve real world public policy problems.For context, planning the provision of sufficient school places for London’s burgeoning school age population has become increasingly challenging in recent years. As a succession of bulging cohorts make their way to the gates of London’s primary schools, projections show we may need up to 4,000 extra primary classes by the end of the decade. This is further complicated by the scale of pupil mobility in London, where pupils often cross local borders to attend school making planning even more difficult.
The Schools Atlas picks up on that last point and uses data accessed from the DfE and cleaned, analysed and published by the GLA to map out patterns of demand in an interactive map of the capital. Parents use the Atlas to assess the likelihood of getting into certain schools and more generally, the options available to them in their local area. Local authority place planners, free school groups and academy chains can glean insights to emerging patterns of demand and more accurately prepare for where additional places will be required.
Currently still in its first iteration, a new and improved Atlas is due towards the end of November 2014. Loaded with more data than ever before and boasting a raft of new functionality, the Atlas should be at the heart of meeting the place planning challenge for years to come.
There are two versions of the London Schools Atlas, one for Secondary and one for Primary schools. Users can toggle between the two atlas using the link in the top right corner of the page. The Atlas works in the same way for both primary and secondary schools.