This blog post is intended to help new users get up and running with Locrating as quickly and easily as possible.
It's essential to understand how school admissions work, to avoid disappointment when applying to schools. Considering that all parents go through the process at some point, it's surprising how many don't seem to know how it works; we are regularly asked questions such as, "can I guarantee a place by applying to just one school?" or "will it increase my chances if I put the school as my first choice?".
We get a lot of people, who are relocating from abroad to the UK (and who are maybe not familiar with the UK education system), ask us how to get their children into a grammar school. People see the great exam results of these schools and understandably want their own children to achieve the same high level and see attending a grammar school as the best way of doing this.
We receive a lot of queries from families who are relocating to the UK from overseas and there is often a lot of uncertainty surrounding when and how parents can apply to schools for their children. This post explores how the system is supposed to work and how it actually works; the two are not the same!
The number of children, in England, who were offered a place at their first preference school, this year, has gone up for secondary schools (83.3% up from 81.1%) and for primary schools (92.2% up from 91.8%). This year there were 1.5% more secondary school applications (614,000) and 0.8% less primary school applications (576,100).
Oxford and Cambridge (known jointly as "Oxbridge") have released new figures showing how many offers they gave to pupils from various schools last year (2020). The table below shows the top 100 schools with the most offers...
Last month we introduced an innovative new feature, which you won't find anywhere else; the ability to see which secondary schools primary pupils move on to and which primary schools secondary pupils have come from. This was been made possible by exclusive research carried out by Locrating, using data from the National Pupil Database, made available to us by the Department of Education and Office for National Statistics.
The NEU (National Education Union) wants schools and colleges to be safe so that they can be open. As part of the NEU’s campaign to keep them safe they have launched and are maintaining a new website. It includes accurate information about the Covid rate in the areas around a school, which is updated weekly.
For those of you who are not familiar with the English education system, it will not be immediately obvious which year group your child will be in, if they were to move to an English school. In this post we've built a tool that allows you to enter your child's date of birth and it will tell you which year your child would be in now.
The number of children, in England, who were offered a place at their first preference school, this year, has gone up for secondary schools but down for primary schools. For secondary schools the rate has increased from 80.9% to 82.2% and for primary schools the rate has reduced marginally from 90.6% to 90.2%. This year there were 0.7% less secondary school application and 0.5% more primary school applications, than in 2019.
Ofsted ratings can seemingly make or break schools and parent's often pay great attention to them, but how much do they actually matter when it comes to the outcomes and experience of pupils? Well, according to a recent study lead by the University of York, not much at all!
As we are all trying to come to terms with the enormity of the Covid-19 situation, there are many questions as to what we can or can’t do without putting our own health or that of others at risk. Many people will have been looking forward to spring 2020 after gaining some Brexit certainty. People were enjoying the flurry in the housing market, finally excited at the prospect of buying or selling a property. So where are we now? Is it still ok to be viewing properties or putting your home on the market? What should you expect if you are buying or selling during these unprecedented times? We asked Nick Moir of Andrews Estate Agents, who have 40+ offices covering London and the South of England some question that we thought you would like answers to.
Whilst some local authorities publish Last Distance Offered, others don’t and the ones that do don’t always publish them for all schools. Further, the information is presented in a myriad ways, with each local authority having their own maps, pdfs and web pages; all presenting the data in slightly different ways. This article explains what last distance offered is, the complexities of gathering it and how it is displayed on Locrating.
Attainment 8 and Progress 8 can be quite confusing. In this article, I’ll explain how they work and how to interpret the numbers when looking at and comparing secondary school GCSE results.
As a quick summary, Attainment 8 is a measure of how well pupils have achieved in their GCSE results and Progress 8 is a measure of how those achievements compare with other children in England that started secondary school at the same level. Progress 8 is therefore a measure of how much value a school is adding compared to other schools, i.e. do children who start at the same level, do better or worse at one school compared to another. There are clearly advantages to measuring schools on progress rather than attainment, notably because children all start secondary school at different levels and the more progress they make the better, irrespective of where they started or finished on the grade scale.
Since the 1970s the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and its predecessors have calculated local measures of deprivation in England. The Indices of Deprivation are a unique measure of relative deprivation (or affluence) at a small local area level. We're pleased to announce that we have now added the latest data (2019) to Locrating, which provides an interesting insight into the neighbourhoods where existing school pupils live.
We're quite regularly asked why our catchment indicators do not match exactly the data shown on local authority websites. The short answer is because they are showing slightly different things. The long answer is discussed in this blog post.
It's really interesting to compare admissions data over time, with some clear patterns emerging. Whilst the chances of getting you first choice secondary school appears to have got worse across large swathes of the country in recent years, the opposite appears to be true for primary schools.
Using data from the national school census, which has been provided by the Department for Education and the Office for National Statistics, we have created catchment area indicators for schools in England. By explaining what we have done and how, this post allows you to interpret our catchment maps.
If you are looking for some advice on which A-Level subjects to take in order to have the best chances of gaining a place on your degree course of choice, or if you're not sure what degree would best suit your interests, we recommend having a look at the new Informed Choices website produced by the Russell Group universities.
If your first choice cannot be met, it is likely due to other pupils living closer to the school than you or meeting the admissions criteria more closely than your child, in this case your child will be allocated a place at an alternative school, in the order of your preferences. But you may get offered a school that is not one of your preferences at all.What should you do if the school you have been offered is not the one your were hoping for?
Something I have seen recently is long standing outstanding schools being, sometimes quite severely, downgraded. In fact, Ofsted recently re-inspected forty six outstanding schools and not one retained its top rating; thirty seven were downgraded to “good”, eight were rated “requires improvement” and one became “inadequate”. Why the sudden change?
I had a conversation a while ago with one of our users who said they were finding it difficult to compare state and independent secondary schools. So, after some thought, we came up with an innovative and completely unique solution to aid the process.
Finding the right school for your child can be a minefield, often it is a difficult enough decision deciding which schools to put on your application form, let alone the order you should place them in. An understanding of the equal preference system is crucial when making this decision, especially when your preferred school is over-subscribed and 42% of London primary schools are!
State school admissions are about so much more than simply where you live. There just isn’t a magic catchment area that will guarantee your child entry and any online catchment indicator or heat map (including ours) must not be relied upon too heavily. In this post we explore some of the myths surrounding school catchment areas.