Category Archives: Education

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Education Geographics has won the prestigious InfoSol 2023 Award for the Most Valuable Dashboard for its Australian School App.

EGS Wins InfoSol 2023 Award


Education Geographics has won the prestigious InfoSol 2023 Award for the Most Valuable Dashboard, for its Australian School App which is now driving record enrolment growth for school leadership teams across 130 Australian Non-government schools.

Education Geographics has won the prestigious InfoSol 2023 Award for the Most Valuable Dashboard for its Australian School App.

Paul Grill, the CEO of Infosol personally congratulated EGS and its CEO and dashboard designer Reg Kernke on the achievement which has previously been won by major international marketing companies such as Salesforce. Paul said: “There was strong competition this year but your dashboard definitely impressed the judges the most.”

Reg said the new Squirrel dashboard app was a powerful analytics application built and delivered by our team of developers, including EGS Spatial Analyst Dr Jeanine McMullan and our award-winning team of statisticians.

“We have been able to accommodate all of our existing 130 users across all mainland Australian states to access individual reports with bespoke analysis and summaries, with almost unlimited growth potential in user numbers as our automation strategy continues to include AI.

“Over Christmas 2022, EGS was able to successfully decommission the previous dashboarding tool and replace it with Squirrel365 and InfoBurst without incurring additional operating costs.

“The schools love it and Australian non-Government school enrolments are growing at record levels.”

Education Geographics is a sister company of Health Geographics and the two retail companies provide Squirrel dashboards and Esri maps to private and public sector participants in education and health industries in Australia.

EGS and HGS were established, using the knowledge base developed by their parent company Australian Development Strategies over 50 years of profiling spatial data on political, demographic and economic trends across Australia.

Former Australian Senator and ADS Founder John Black congratulated Reg and the EGS team on the new interactive dashboard design and its associated online Esri map.

He said: “As our automation program continues to involve more AI solutions drawing on the dataset from our unique ADS school models, we would be looking to take Education Geographics into comparable overseas education markets in North American and Britain.

“Parents love their kids and they want to give them the best educational start in life that they can afford. These principles are universal and this means there’s a big international market for EGS”.

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Political Pitfalls Ahead - AFR New Year Special

Political Pitfalls Ahead

Category:Demographics,Education,Election Profiles,Election Profiles 2022,Health,Housing Tags : 

I have a little opinion piece in the Australian Financial Review’s New Year Special Edition on some of the political and economic issues awaiting the attention of the Commonwealth Government during 2023 and AFR subscribers can find it here:

The story uncovers some unexpected Covid impacts for 2023 and beyond for population growth, the labour market, the economy and the housing market, along with Energy, Health and Education.

Education Geographics Chief Mapper Dr Jeanine McMullan has prepared a publicly-available online map, showing the latest spatial impacts of Covid on population growth and you can access the map here:

Education Geographics Chief Mapper Dr Jeanine McMullan has prepared a publicly-available online map, showing the latest spatial impacts of Covid on population growth

We hope you enjoy the article and the map. All the best for Christmas and the New Year folks!

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EGS Spatial Analyst and Senior Mapper Dr Jeanine McMullan has just recorded a new video

‘I really like our maps … they’re great fun!’

Category:Education Tags : 

Our EGS Spatial Analyst and Senior Mapper Dr Jeanine McMullan has just recorded a new video.

In the video, headed The Power of the Esri Map Module, Jeanine conveys her sense of excitement at being able to explore innovative new map layers of small-scale data which she can superimpose on EGS catchment maps, so schools can improve how they spatially manage their school to the benefit of their students and their families.

On a practical level, Jeanine and I explain how the layers on an EGS school map can be used to design the most cost-effective school bus routes and stops, based on ease of access from existing students and also from potential additional students, whose families match your school profile.

This means your wrapped school bus can serve as a mobile marketing platform in the most prospective streets in your catchment, as it takes your current students to and from school.

The route design can be adapted annually to changing marketing and logistics strategies, with the new layout downloaded and sent to school drivers or bus companies, and posted on school websites.

Jeanine then shows her genuine enthusiasm for new advanced features in map design which, for example, can help a school begin to estimate the environmental cost in terms of carbon credits of various transport strategies, how to make of use of emergency map layers, showing, for example, flooding risks and fire updates, as well as longer term development plans from your local authorities.

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Covid Impacts For School Planners in Australia | Education Geographics

Covid Impacts For School Planners

Category:Education Tags : 

Using available data from late 2021, the Education Geographics team calculated post-Covid spatial estimates from 2020 to 2031 on total population, pre-schoolers and school-aged children.

Our preliminary EGS population modelling indicates that the big winners from Covid impacts on total Australian population growth have been the four SA4 ABS statistical regions making up the state of Tasmania, along with four regions within a two-hour commute of the Melbourne CBD: Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and La Trobe-Gippsland. (See the purple SA4 regions in our attached map).

Click Map to Zoom

Covid Impacts For School Planners Using available data from late 2021, the Education Geographics team calculated post-covid spatial estimates from 2020 to 2031 on total population, pre-schoolers and school-aged children.

It seems that the big Covid lockdown of Tasmania worked a treat to boost Tasmania’s modest but stable, pre-Covid state annual growth rate, from about 0.5 percent up to 0.7 percent between 2020 and 2031, with most of the gains coming in Hobart.

And it seemed that some Melbourne residents wanting a relatively safe work-from-home retreat still wanted the option of a convenient weekly commute to meetings in the CBD. If this wasn’t needed, well, they just moved to South East Queensland.

And the big losers? Take your pick of pretty much any capital city CBD across the nation, with greater Sydney a very sad sea of red on our attached map of Covid population impacts. No wonder the NSW Government are lobbying to crank up migration numbers.

As far as the other capitals went, those most adversely impacted after Sydney were, In diminishing order, the ABS regions of Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and then Adelaide.

By way of benchmarks, we anticipate that the annual pre-Covid national growth rate of 1.6 percent will drop to an annual average of about 1.0 percent out to 2031.

In terms of total Australian population, this translates to a predicted post-Covid figure of 28.5 million, compared to a pre-Covid figure of 30.3 million, a drop of 1.8 million persons, due to Covid impacts.

When it comes to pre-schoolers aged 0-4 years, the national predicted pre-Covid figure of 1.9 million could drop by 340,000 to 1.56 million, with the biggest losses experienced in the suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney

For school children aged 5 to 17 years, the expected national pre-Covid population could drop by more than half a million students, from 4.8 million to 4.3 million. At 25 kids per class, that’s enough kids to fill more than 20,000 classrooms that we’d expected to see by 2031, but now we don’t.

Where these gaps in previous forecasts are likely to be concentrated is fundamental to planning decisions over the next decade.

All EGS client schools will have this pre-Covid and post-Covid information for total population, pre-schoolers and school children projected as a summary onto their major catchments.

In addition, on request, EGS qualified professionals will be able to access EGS fine-grained data for school planning projects, such as a new campus, or for commercial expansion plans for a pre-Covid growth area.

Planning before Covid

Before Covid hit our shores in late 2019, population forecasts for urban planners were pretty straightforward.

After the detailed data had been published from the 2016 Census, projections were prepared for the Australian Government Department of Health by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. These projections reflected assumptions made about future fertility, mortality and migration trends.

It was all very official and credible and was produced down to relatively fine grained SA2 levels of about 10,000 persons and extensively used by schools, developers, big business and urban planners at all levels of Government and across the private sector.

The Health Department data was considered so reliable, you could take it to the bank and many investors did just that.

And then along came Covid in late 2019 and made all prior population forecasts redundant.

National borders were closed, many foreign students already here departed our shores, potential students and skilled workers were locked out, businesses were shut down for months at a time, working from home became the norm, CBDs were deserted and families began to drift outwards from Melbourne and Sydney into the regions and then interstate.

The December 2021 data from the ABS for mid-2021 showed Victoria lost so many overseas migrants and interstate migrants that the state was de-populating over the previous year. For planners counting on future population growth to underpin investments, this is genuinely scary stuff.

Queensland was the biggest winner in terms of gaining these interstate migrants from both New South Wales and Victoria, with anecdotal evidence inferring most gains were in the outlying coastal regions of South East Queensland and possibly northern NSW.

In early January 2022, we were in fact about to fine tune our forecasts to take these latest ABS figures into account, but ballooning omicron numbers by then had pretty much spoiled that sense of post-vaccination optimism.

We will monitor developments over the next months for the expected peak and fade of omicron and the possible arrival of new Covid variants. When we have more substantial evidence of sustainable trends, we will re-visit our forecasts.

We have a way to go yet with this virus, unfortunately, and with the evolving impact it is having on our total population numbers and spatial growth patterns across the nation.

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School Leaders: No time for complacency

Category:Education Tags : 

In late 2021, Australia appears headed for a strong economic recovery, but underlying structural problems mean this is no time for complacency among school leaders about future demand for Non-Government school places in 2022 and beyond.

As outlined in the Australian Financial Review today (December 2, 2021) Economics Editor John Kehoe warns the current publicly-funded economic boom is putting way too many layers of magenta-coloured lipstick on an economy hamstrung by an archaic tax system, mounting pressures on welfare and defence spending and a fossil fuel exporting economy in a world edging ever closer to a renewable-dependent energy mix.

At Education Geographics, we’ve been lucky to secure the mentorship of distinguished Australian Economist Saul Eslake during 2021, to present monthly webinars to our EGS school leaders on the impact of Covid on the repeated Covid cycles of lockdown, economic downturn and subsequent recovery.

We’ve also taken advantage of the outstanding job done by our Australian Bureau of Statistics on mass payroll data from taxpayers and our own team of statistical modelers, to inform EGS schools on how Covid has directly impacted jobs in their school catchments and show EGS school leaders which industry groups of parents have been impacted and how many of them enrol their children across their school’s top enrolment streets.

This short video with the EGS leadership team and Broadcaster Steve Austin explains some of the background issues for schools and illustrates how EGS has provided data on Covid impacts on jobs in their local suburbs.

John Black – Founder & Executive Chairman – Education Geographics


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Allan Shaw, School Whisperer, Farewell to the best job in the world

Allan Shaw, School Whisperer – Farewell to the best job in the world


Leading a school is the best job in the world, bringing together professional staff and parents to build a community around children and young people.

But occasionally you have some of the worst days imaginable. It is difficult to be physically confronted by a student who you know has hurt one of their own parents recently or to gather a group of students to explain that one of their peers has taken their own life.

The challenges I have faced in schools have helped form who I am. The people I have met and worked with have enriched my life. In return, I have influenced the lives of thousands of children and young people (hopefully, positively) across a school leadership career of more than 20 years.

My career in school education started in 1979 with a posting to a secondary technical school in the far northern suburbs of Melbourne as an art teacher. I still have vivid recollections of my very first lesson.

More than four decades later, my career as a school principal has concluded. I worked as teacher and school leader across three states and territories and across all three sectors of school education: government, Catholic and independent schools. Each school has its own culture and context. Each has allowed, encouraged or insisted I learn and adapt.

Working in schools is intellectually, emotionally, and socially demanding. It is also incredibly rewarding to meet adults who I first knew as children or teenagers. Even the naughtiest have turned into decent people. Many have gone on to make significant contributions to their communities, in ways that I could not imagine at the time I knew them in school. In that sense, the rewards of teaching are palpable. I take no credit for the successes of these students but I have had the privilege of a small influence on their growth and development.

The needs of students have become much more complex over the last 15 years. As young people enter a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, they need additional skills. The development of strong literacy and numeracy skills, and a solid knowledge base must be complemented by the development of creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills, an ethical character and the capacity to make positive contributions.

We must acknowledge the important role the adults in schools play in the development of the young. We must invest in developing the capacity of these people, to invest in our young people. The teacher in the room with your child is second only to you, their parents, in their influence on your children.

I wish I was 20 years younger and able to be more involved in these exciting challenges in schools. I am not, and thus I hand over to a new generation.

Allan Shaw is the recently retired principal of The Knox School.

Story printed in The Age – September 16, 2021

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Education Geographics has been working closely with Australian Development Strategies and Health Geographics to map future spatial population impacts of Covid.

Looking Beyond Covid – Spatially

Category:Education Tags : 

Australia is predicted to lose a million persons in the next few years, when compared to pre-Covid estimates.

These losses are likely to be highest in suburbs near universities which had previously enjoyed strong population growth, due to recent large intakes of foreign students and very high levels of net overseas migration (NOM).

Education Geographics has been working closely with Australian Development Strategies and Health Geographics to map future spatial population impacts of Covid. The work has been mentored by distinguished Australian economist Saul Eslake.

An Esri map provided through this link shows our projected Covid impact by SA2 on pre-Covid population estimates.

Marketing Strategies for Schools - Looking beyond covid, spatially, Education Geographics for School Management & Marketing Strategies for education institutions in Australia.

More detailed maps of target areas and numbers will be provided on request to clients of EGS, ADS and HGS.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept new school entrants in Term 1, 2021, but we have limited spaces available for new schools in Term 2.

If your school is ready to plan for your post-Covid future, complete the form below and book an interactive experience with our new 2021 Covid-ready App.

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    COVID-19 and the Impact of the jobs market on Non-Government school enrolments for 2021

    COVID-19 and the Impact of the jobs market on Non-Government school enrolments for 2021

    Category:Education Tags : 

    Dear Colleagues,  due to the changing environment and our response to COVID-19, I will be posting a series of updates on the current research being undertaken by Education Geographics, which may assist Australian Non-Government schools with their 2021 planning. You are welcome to distribute these updates to your school boards and risk assessment committees and your feedback would be appreciated.

    At Education Geographics and Australian Development Strategies, we’ve been modelling Non-Government schools and their interaction with the Labour market since 2004.

    We’ve noticed that the growth or decline in the number of jobs in a school catchment in the second half of the year tends to drive enrolments up or down in the following year (as you can see in the national chart on Australian Participation rates and Non-Government Market Share from 1998 to 2019).


    Continue Reading:

    COVID-19 and the Impact of the jobs market on Non-Government school enrolments for 2021


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    GIS in the Classroom


    A Conversation with Ali Pressel & Kyle Tredinnick

    In October 2019, Teacher Advisory Council members Ali Pressel and Kyle Tredinnick hosted a breakout session titled “StoryMaps: Building a GeoHabit” at National Geographic’s Education SummitArcGIS StoryMaps is a system that allows users to tell digital stories with text, interactive maps, imagery, and more. The two high school teachers value this skillset and geographic information systems (GIS) in the classroom as they prepare students to see the world beyond maps.

    In honor of GIS Day, a celebration of the technology in the field, Ali and Kyle sat down with the National Geographic Society’s Education staff to talk about their journey with geography.

    Ali and Kyle didn’t intend to teach GIS, but it quickly became the main focus.


    Continue Reading:


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    Here is a summary of slides presented in late 2017 to Principals, Vice Principals, Business Managers and Marketers.

    Data is sourced from the five yearly Census results, the annual ABS school census, My School, ABS Labour Market releases, Digital Finance Analytics and Education Geographics Research.

    These slides show

    • The characteristics of suburbs where each sector has been gaining or losing enrolments and market share (not always the same thing).
    • The national impact of the GFC on longer term enrolment trends for each sector.
    • The state wide impact of the decline in manufacturing and mining jobs for each Education sector.
    • Longer and shorter term impact on Independent school enrolments across increasing school fee ranges.
    • Maps at SA4 Labour Force Region level showing spatial impact of the labour market changes since the GFC.
    • The longer term impact of Digital Disruption on working family jobs for Tradies and Clerks, the jobs which pay school fees for one in four Independent school students.
    • The impact of longer term trends in tertiary education and marriages for Gen X Catholic mothers.
    • What could happen to young highly geared Independent school families when interest rates start to rise.
    • Recurrent themes of change for the three sectors.
    • How Non-Government schools can take charge of Big Data and think spatially and demographically to minimise risk and maximise opportunities.


    Click on link to view: Stats Round Up.pdf