Information systems in education: An interactive model for projecting primary school enrolments
AbstractSophisticated information systems are poised to play an important part in educational administration. Fundamental to the success of these systems is a means of accurately predicting school enrolments. In this paper an enrolment projection methodology is described for predicting numbers of primary school children in NSW five years into the future. Beginning with preschool age children, the expected number of kindergarten enrolments are forecast and these cohorts are progressed through the first six years of primary school. The model described is implemented on a microcomputer and uses an interactive technique which enables human intervention in order to take full account of local knowledge in predicting the numbers in each year group. Control on totals is maintained by allowing groups of schools to be amalgamated and by applying to these groups similar routines to those which are applied in obtaining projections for individual schools. This counteracts the effects of student mobility across wider areas and overcomes the problems associated with simple aggregation of individual school year group numbers. The technique provides a valuable planning tool when enrolment figures are needed for future decision making.
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