Supporting pupil place planning with edge-ucate pupil projections for West Sussex County Council
Edge Analytics has been working with West Sussex County Council since 2016, supporting the school place planning for students across their catchment with population projections for school-age children. The team initially contacted Edge as they were no longer able to access birth registration data— this presented a significant challenge, especially in projecting primary school places.
Edge built the initial model using three years of historical data, providing accurate projections that the team could use to understand the likely future demand. In fact, Edge projections for 2022 proved to be accurate to within approximately 0.5%. West Sussex County Council shares these insights with its schools to inform plans for expansion or new schools, or to recommend temporary staff contracts where sustained growth is not expected.
Edge data is also used for Section 106 negotiations with developers who are planning large projects across the county, so that the council can ensure adequate school place provision for pupils who move into new housing developments.
SEN and AP forecasting
More recently, West Sussex have expanded their work with Edge Analytics to bring in projections for pupils with SEN and AP (Special Educational Needs and Alternative Provision), which is now a requirement of the DfE. This is very complex to forecast, yet critical to ensuring that all students have the tools and support they require throughout their education.
Edge Analytics provide the pupil projections for West Sussex County Council’s SCAP return, and have been instrumental in developing the methodology used to produce them. The council have saved a large amount of time and resource, and can be confident that the data, models and methodologies used will withstand DfE scrutiny.
West Sussex County Council strongly value their working relationship with the Edge Analytics team. Complex requests are handled with ease, and data is provided in easy-to-read, actionable formats. Edge’s work is recognised by the DfE, which adds an extra layer of credibility to the work the council are producing in this field.
Tracey Dunn, School Planning Officer, West Sussex County Council
“We have been working with Edge Analytics for a number of years and their suite of products is a fundamental part of school place planning across West Sussex. The team are always on hand to offer support and advice, nothing is ever a problem and their combined expertise and support is invaluable to the school place planning team.”