We're sitting on a vast amount of data here at School Guide and we've recently opened our Data Lab to experiment with plotting trends and visualising data with the official statistics we hold on over 35,000 schools across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Our first test was to plot School Guide star ratings in a heatmap to see if we could see clusters or geographical trends in school performance. The School Guide rating ranges from one to five stars with five star schools having the best performance data based on official figures.
We can see that the Welsh Valleys, East Glasgow and the Peterborough/King's Lynne are distinctly cool (green) due to a greater concentration of one and two star schools while the heat rises (red) in and around Oxford, Reading, parts of Surrey and Edinburgh with a high number of four and five star schools. These so-called education hot spots are glowing with the top Ofsted ratings, GCSE and A-level results and, according to a survey released by Nationwide and published in The Guardian today, are where one in ten parents make their house purchase choice based on school.
In order to prevent areas with a high density of schools skewing results the heat map was created by dividing the country in to 10km squares and calculating an average for each small geographic area. You can zoom in and take the edu-temperature of local areas in more detail.
This is our first attempt to unlock the vast amount of school data available on School Guide. Watch this space for more data experimentation. Lab coat optional.