Annual Data Observatory (Castle Vale)



Castle Vale is a clearly defined and rather isolated housing area on the edge of Birmingham. Originally a council estate, the area saw substantial physical regeneration and is now by common agreement transformed in terms of its environment and housing conditions, tenure mix, public facilities, crime levels and until recently in reduced levels of unemployment. The area is predominantly white working class.

Some social issues remain intractable. One of these is the perceived low level of educational aspirations amongst young people and longstanding poor levels of educational attainment. Raising aspirations and improving attainment have therefore been adopted by both the Neighbourhood Partnership Board (NPB) and the local Endowment Trust (ETF) as a priority.

Collating educational data for Castle Vale pupils (post code B35) is difficult. The question ‘how well are the children at this school doing’ is easy to answer. ‘How well are the children from this area doing’ is a question that is not asked routinely below the level of the LEA.


The aim of the project is to produce an annual report that captures data which will inform the Vale Education Trust about where children and young people in the area are educated and how well they are doing in absolute terms, in comparison to the region, and in terms of the institutions they attend. This will involve analyses of data taken from a range of sources such as the DfE National Pupil Database (NPD), Individualised Learner Records of the Data Service, UCAS and HESA.  These data will be supplemented by information from institutions themselves, including the 5 on-site schools, Birmingham Metropolitan College and the LEA. The project aims to provide answers to the following questions:

  • Which primary schools do the children attend.
  • What attainment levels do they reach at KS2
  • Which secondary schools do they attend
  • What attainment level do they reach at KS4
  • How many stay on at sixth form, in which schools
  • What attainment levels to they reach at level 3 -   A level or equivalent
  • How many go on to FE colleges – and which ones
  • What level are they studying at, vocational and academic
  • What results do they get
  • How many go onto university, and from where.

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