Member story
Students at Dean Close School
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Students at Dean Close School
©Dean Close School

How data and analytics helped Dean Close School build new insight and intelligence

Tracey Colbert-Smith

Before meeting the team at Jisc, we didn’t know that onward tracking of student cohorts was possible. This means that we can see how our students fared after leaving us, which gives us a wealth of strategic intelligence that we wouldn’t have otherwise had.

Being a school that looks to provide and prepare our students for their future, not solely for their time with us, we were very interested to learn how Dean Close School has helped shape the next stage of our Old Decanians’ lives.

The Progression through HE: University and Workplace Outcomes data and analytics dashboard suite gave us the opportunity to do just that. It provided excellent insights about our previous students’ progression in higher education and then into further post-graduate study or employment.

Enhanced marketing and pupil recruitment

This dashboard has given us much more definitive student insight to share in our marketing.

Prospective parents always want to know about exam results and we can now finish the story by providing university results and subsequent employment details.

We can pull out statistics to go alongside GCSE and A-Level results which can be displayed at events, go onto our website and be used in our other marketing materials. The data visualisations and charts are very easy to read, understand and manipulate making them accessible to anyone.

Having objective and accurate information, as well as being able to benchmark ourselves against comparator schools and the national picture, means that we can enhance our messaging to prospective parents.

Benchmarking and maintaining high standards

The progression through HE dashboard suite includes HESA data for competitor schools of our choice as well as national comparator data.

Whilst benchmarking against the national picture allows us to position ourselves as a school which offers a great deal of added value, benchmarking against competitors affords us the opportunity to analyse the data internally to ensure our standards remain the highest they can be.

Evidence for our careers guidance

The analytical insights are very instructive for our careers team to be able to understand previous pupils’ destinations data, identify trends, raise student aspiration and provide evidence of what others have done before. This ultimately benefits our students most as we can improve the quality of our careers guidance as a result.

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Screenshot of dashboard showing data of students 6 months after graduation - employment

Inspiring teachers and supporting our curriculum

The dashboard suite includes HESA data on university subjects. This reinforces our subject specialisms, especially niche ones such as classics at Dean Close.

As a service providing industry, it’s great for teachers to see the fruits of their hard work too. Being able to present this data on INSET days as an extension to exam performance will be of great relevance and interest across the school community.

Evaluating past initiatives on student outcomes

The Progression through HE dashboard suite includes HESA STEM and Russell Group entry data split by gender. We can use this data to understand whether some of our past strategic initiatives may have had a positive impact.

In summary

Anecdotally, we have known how some of our students have fared since leaving, but for the first time, we now have the complete picture.

It’s fascinating to see the headline insights this product provides, but it’s also great to be able to drill down into specifics that matter to us.

We can now look at the wider picture past A-levels to see what our students are achieving post school. This will assist in helping us to compete and recruit students more effectively but also to analyse where we can make improvements for future success. This product has helped us to complete the narrative.

Key benefits for us

  • Instructive for our careers team
  • Great for teachers to see the fruits of their hard work
  • Ability to benchmark ourselves against comparator schools and the national picture
  • Allows us to evaluate previous strategic initiatives
  • Onward tracking of student cohorts
  • Reinforces our subject specialisms
  • Raises student aspiration
  • Great deal of added value in the product
  • STEM and Russell Group entry data included
  • Helps us to recruit students more effectively
  • Excellent insights using trusted HESA data

For more information about the progression through HE report, email data.analytics@jisc.ac.uk or call us on 01242 211 133.