Myself and Mike Cummins have been doing some work looking at the Birmingham School Admissions procedure. Over the past year we’ve developed a tool that helps people find out more about the local authority’s schools, including showing the annual cut off distances.

Currently, these school cut off distances are typically provided by local authorities in paper documents or on the web in text formats such as pdf. This doesn’t make it easy for parents to get an overall view of the preferences they might choose. We hope our school finder tool, which allows you to put in a postcode and shows you the schools around you, is a step in the right direction.

Birmingham wide school catchment areas

Birmingham wide school cut off areas

With the applications for Birmingham Secondary Schools due in at the end of the month we think that now is the ideal time to make an alpha version of the tool available, which we’ve done today. This is a work in progress and the usual caveats apply. Please don’t use it as the only thing you base your decisions on, if you’re looking for a school place for your child.

There’s a feedback forum on UserEcho that we’ve set up for people to comment on the tool and suggest how we might develop it further.

We’re indebted to Caroline Beavon who worked very hard with us at the start of the project, had many of the good ideas and did a lot of the early data work.

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Like most participants I came away from?UKGovCamp this weekend fizzing with ideas and enthusiasm. I’ll post my thoughts over the next few weeks about various parts of the weekend. Firstly, I wanted to look at the morning session I attended on Saturday, which was co-hosted by Anthony Zacharzewski of the?Democratic Society and Catherine Howe from Public-i.

The session was based around the We Live Here work they are doing at the moment on the?Creative Councils programme funded by?Nesta. We were asked to look at the ways that neighbourhoods can be viewed as networks of networks and especially how characterising them in this way can refresh democratic engagement.

So, not lacking in ambition then.

#UKGC12 introductions worldle

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