Planning education provision in a rapidly changing Australia
Update: Since we first published this blog, we’ve released a new free resource for school planners – our School enrolment planning guide. If you’re a school planner, enrolment coordinator, board member or someone else responsible for planning the future of a school, you can download a copy of this guide here.
Fundamental to a good society is access to education no matter where you live.
By 2026 there will be 705,000 more children in our schools than there are today (.id Small Area Forecast information).
Starting in 2006, there has been a peak in the number of children born in Australia with 20% more children than long-term averages being born each year to 2015. In 2011 this wave of additional children arrived at our primary schools and from 2018 the first of them will be ready for high school.
This is the first major increase in the school-age population for 60 years, since the post World War II ‘baby boom’ reached our schools in the 1950s. It will create numerous opportunities for astute educators, planners and operators and is documented in our ebook, Planning education provision for a changing Australia.
To make confident decisions, school planners need to understand how these broad population changes will manifest locally.
School planning is very localised, with school catchments generally being based around suburbs or regions. Suburbs within cities have their own cycles of change. Even during a period of rapid and sustained population growth, there will be some suburbs that see a decline in school age children. Others will be caught by a surprise wave of increased school enrollments.
It is important to fully understand the impacts of these local cycles that cannot be predicted by simply projecting the broad population trends into the future.
The broad population trends can inform broad strategic questions. But more importantly, access to detailed local population data will answer the ‘when’ and ‘where’ of implementing your strategy, which is often the key to the strategy’s success.
.id’s consulting team has helped a range of education providers to answer these questions and make confident, evidence-based strategic decisions.
Our latest e-book captures what we’ve learned by applying a demographic lens to the education sector. We hope it will make a contribution to the sector by providing a framework for delivering education services when and where they are most needed.
.id is a team of population experts, who use a unique combination of online tools and consulting to help organisations decide where and when to locate their facilities and services, to meet the needs of changing populations. Access our free demographic resources here.