The school demand model we developed represents a step change in the way future demand for schools can be predicted. At its heart is a powerful statistical technique called kernel density estimation linked to a GIS-based ‘school supply model’. This decision-support tool delivers a reliable estimate of government, catholic and independent primary and secondary school demand. It considers location, ethnicity, income, household size and other demographic characteristics of the catchment area. Broader effects such as underlying school preference and government education policy shifts are also included. Accounting for uncertainty, rather than ignoring it, allows the model to provide a better risk-sensitive estimate of future demand than the old rules of thumb (e.g. 3,000 dwellings equals one government primary school).
Image: School room