Handbook of Planning Support Science
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Handbook of Planning Support Science

Edited by Stan Geertman and John Stillwell

Encompassing a broad range of innovative studies on planning support science, this timely Handbook examines how the consequences of pressing societal challenges can be addressed using computer-based systems. Chapters explore the use of new streams of big and open data as well as data from traditional sources, offering significant critical insights into the field.
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Chapter 30: Planning support systems for school-place forecasting

Peter Boden, Rebecca Hughes and John Stillwell


The allocation of public funds to support the provision of school places in England is underpinned by pupil forecasts submitted by local authorities within their annual statistical returns to central government. This chapter illustrates how a combination of data sources, in conjunction with a robust forecasting methodology, provide the essential components of a school-place planning support system (PSS) that meets the requirements for regulatory reporting and provides evidence to support councils in their decision-making processes. The complexities of England’s school estate are summarised and the prevailing demographic trends driving change in the size, composition and distribution of school-age populations are presented. The critical data inputs to the school-place planning process are described, the principles of a pupil forecasting methodology are outlined and examples of the statistical outputs generated by an effective school-place PSS are presented. The chapter concludes by identifying the key criteria for effective school-place planning.

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