What’s this website about?

This site aims to help parents and house buyers understand how likely their children are to get into a particular school by visualising data on catchment areas and competition for places. It also provides information on schools’ Ofsted ratings, exam performance and demographics.

Who made it?

This site was made by Mike Thompson, a freelance researcher, coder and technology consultant. Mike was prompted to make this site after spending frustrating hours trying to understand how primary school admissions work in Kent when moving house. He realised that a web tool that brought together all of this data would be useful for many other parents across the country.

Where’s the data from?

The data is taken from a number of sources. Basic school data is from Edubase. School performance data is from the Department of Education’s School Performance Tables. Admissions data is sourced directly from individual local education authorities.

What do you mean by catchment?

On this site, the word “catchment” is used to refer to the rough area in which you would have needed to live in order for your child to have got into the school in a particular year, assuming you do not qualify for a place for other reasons such as special needs, having a sibling attending the school, or faith reasons.

These catchments vary from year to year and seeing this variation can be useful in seeing if there is a trend in admissions. However, this variation can be unpredictable and changes in demand caused by, for example, changes in the local population, and other factors such as a new headteacher can lead to sudden large changes in catchment areas. Living within a catchment in one year is no guarantee that you will live in it in the next year.

We do our best to calculate these areas using the data we collect from local education authorities and the Department for Education. However, we do not have exactly the same data as the local authorities that run the admissions process, so they should be treated only as a guide to what has happened in previous years.

What should I do if I need help, have a question or a comment?

If you need help with your application or with deciding what school to apply to, you should call or email your local authority. If you have a comment about this website or have spotted an inaccuracy in the data, you can email me on: mike@artifactual.co.uk.

This is great, can I use it on my website?

Yes! We’ve made a plugin version of the site designed to be included in other websites. We’re interested in talking to people about this or about using our data. To discuss your needs and pricing, get in touch with us at mike@artifactual.co.uk