Opening up Ofsted data on free schools – part two

Updated, 9 May 2015: See bottom of the post for the changes.

This is part two of a pair series of blogposts about scraping free school inspection ratings from the Ofsted website. Part one can be found here. All posts can be found here.

I finished the last blogpost having scraped the Ofsted ratings with Python, using Scraperwiki to turn the data into a JSON API. So, what to do with the output of my scraper?

Well, my ambitions were fairly modest as far as presenting or visualising the data went. For now at least, all I wanted to produce was a basic table of all inspection ratings. Importantly though, it had to update automatically as new schools were inspected and additional ratings came through.

Opening up Ofsted data on free schools – part one

Free school Ofsted ratings - EFS website

Updated, 9 May 2015: See bottom of the post for the changes.

One of the projects I’ve spent quite a bit of time working on over the past year has been the specialist free schools news site I co-founded, EverythingFreeSchools [NB: as of September 2014 this site is no longer live. The free school Ofsted ratings resource I’ve developed can now be found here.] 

The site has performed well, building a regular readership of people with an interest in the policy. And besides the news stories the site has broken, one thing that has proved popular are data resources – such as this look at how many teachers without Qualified Teacher Status each free school used.

EverythingFreeSchools

Time to introduce something I’ve been working on, and that has been occupying considerable amounts of my time for the last few months.

EverythingFreeSchools.co.uk is a news site that I co-founded with a number of others in October last year.

EverythingFreeSchools.co.uk
EverythingFreeSchools

As a site, we cover the Government’s flagship education policy of free schools, and have set out to do so in a way that is balanced and incisive. As well as straight news stories, we’ll also be bringing more analytical pieces, and data-driven stories, trying to understand what impact the policy is having.

The site builds upon my interest in education, and public policy more generally, and it’s been pleasing to see the response it has received so far.

Among other stories, we have broken the news that two former police stations in London are set to become free schools, and dug into number of unqualified teachers which free schools are using.

The site can be found here, and we’re on Twitter as @EFSfreeschools. Do take a look.