Welcome to the fifth in our series of guest blog posts written by Data.gov.uk community members who have developed applications using data available on Data.gov.uk. This week, Viral Gandhi writes about the School Scout application.
SchoolScout – finding the right school for you
I built SchoolScout because I wanted to create a tool that makes the
decision about which school to send your children less complicated.
School choice is very complex and parents need to think about many
different factors simultaneously: state or private? Single-sex or mixed?
How close to home should the school be?
I realised that the Department for Education’s school and performance
data would be very helpful to parents if it were combined with data
direct from schools on attributes like school fees. When I built the
tool I tried to allow parents to specify precisely what kinds of
schools they were looking for, so they could build their own
short-list, or school league table, that only features schools that
are relevant to them. This was finally released as the “customisable
school league table” tool. I also made a “quick postcode search” that
allows parents to see schools ranked in order by distance from their
Check out the “customisable school league table” tool and the “quick
postcode search” at http://schoolscout.co.uk/pg/customsearch/search.
I am certain that the process of opening up data to the public is
going to help make difficult decisions more manageable. I believe
that data can be used to make it much easier to select schools and
weigh up different factors in school choice. I hope to use sources
such as data.gov.uk to collect more data relevant to parents and use
design to present it to users in a way that is most helpful to them.
By marshalling the appropriate data and making it accessible and easy
to use, I hope to demystify the process of school choice.
Check out this video to get a walk through the customisable school
league table tool.
Please let me know what you think of the search tool and what
improvements you would most like to see through the "Contact Us" page.