Using publicly available data and visualisation techniques to shape foundation strategy

Bell Foundation – EAL Mapping

We used publicly available school performance data on the attainment and progress of learners with English as an Additional Language (EAL), to help shape decision making within the Bell Foundation’s EAL programme. We visualised the geographical dimensions of EAL attainment and progress by producing a series of map visualisations, as well as an excel-based data tool.

What we did

We used publicly available school performance data on the attainment and progress of learners with English as an Additional Language (EAL), to help shape decision making within the Bell Foundation’s EAL programme. We visualised the geographical dimensions of EAL attainment and progress for primary and secondary schools in England by producing a series of map visualisations, as well as an excel-based data tool.

We first did this for Bell Foundation in 2017, with the resulting mapping work influential on their strategy for rolling out their Language for Results Centres of Excellence. The mapping also featured in a research report by the Education Policy Institute that comprehensively analysed the policy and funding regime available to support children with English as an additional language. We have since been asked to repeat this work, updating it to include latest datasets, EAL proficiency data and different measures of deprivation. The new work features interactive maps produced via the Tableau Public visualisation platform, and greater analysis at the local authority level. The mapping work will be shared via the Bell Foundation website and disseminated to local and national policy makers, and practitioners.

What we learned

We used publicly available school performance data on the attainment and progress of learners with English as an Additional Language (EAL), to help shape decision making within the Bell Foundation’s EAL programme. We visualised the geographical dimensions of EAL attainment and progress for primary and secondary schools in England by producing a series of map visualisations, as well as an excel-based data tool.

We first did this for Bell Foundation in 2017, with the resulting mapping work influential on their strategy for rolling out their Language for Results Centres of Excellence. The mapping also featured in a research report by the Education Policy Institute that comprehensively analysed the policy and funding regime available to support children with English as an additional language. We have since been asked to repeat this work, updating it to include latest datasets, EAL proficiency data and different measures of deprivation. The new work features interactive maps produced via the Tableau Public visualisation platform, and greater analysis at the local authority level. The mapping work will be shared via the Bell Foundation website and disseminated to local and national policy makers, and practitioners.

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