Your Life: A revolution in approaching education

Starcount worked with community interest company Your Life to create deep insight into how schools are performing, based on how highly they rate STEM subjects. The result was the development of a tool that can be used to identify the highest performing schools in those subjects.

The challenge

In an increasingly technological world, there are calls for more focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. However, the current emphasis on schooling means that we reward schools based on overall marks throughout every subject. The result? Schools that encourage students to pursue STEM subjects are losing out, because they are not achieving the marks to compete with non-STEM focused institutions.

The approach

Starcount analysed data on school locations, marks and career data to create insight into how schools are performing based on how highly they rate STEM subjects, as well as the marks that students achieve in these subjects.

The impact

Using this insight, Starcount was able to help develop a tool called STEM School Finder, which allows users to view the rankings of nearby schools based on an institution’s approach to STEM subjects. The tool also enables users to see what subjects they would need for specific careers, built on a system of points for each subject, and which schools are the best at offering them.

The result

  • As a result of Your Life’s campaign, the government will now give each school an additional £600 per pupil studying Maths.
  • 100,000 users of Future Finder, which hosts the School Finder app.
  • High profile media coverage for this initiative including in The Times, City AM and T.E.S.

“You get what you measure and, simply put, schools are incentivised to reward grades rather than subjects, even though this is not what businesses need and not where the jobs will be in the future. The challenge of BREXIT is upon us and the clock is ticking if we want to have the workforce we need to compete in the world. School performance measurements should more closely reflect the skill requirements of the UK economy and reward subject expertise in the most demand skills areas. I am calling for an urgent rethink of how schools are assessed to give greater weight to the subjects that open up the most career prospects.”

– Edwina Dunn

Starcount CEO & Your Life Chairwoman


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