On 13 March 2018 at 12:58, Dave F <davefoxfa...@btinternet.com> wrote:
> Robert Whittaker has recently performed an edit across England & Wales to
> update Schools ref:edubase code.
> https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/57034975
> As well as the reference, he's amended some of the names in OSM as listed in
> the database. I think this is wrong. Similar to shops & street names etc I
> believe we should should be using the names displayed on the ground.
> Robert suggests they are "official names supplied by the school to the DfE"
> Even if true, (I'm not convinced) databases are often manipulated by those
> compiling them. Abbreviating to fit printed column widths can often occur.

You can view details of the changeset at

Some background information:

* I believe that the information in Edubase (now
https://get-information-schools.service.gov.uk/ ) is supplied by the
schools themselves, and the name recorded there will be the official
name of the school as far as the Deparment for Education is concerned.
I believe that these are the names that will appear in official
government correspondence and also on Ofsted inspection reports.
Whether or not the school consistently uses them on the ground is
another matter though.

* The Schools amended were those that: (a) had previously been given a
ref:edubase number in OSM, (b) that number no longer corresponded to
an open school in Edubase, (c) Edubase provided an explicit "successor
institution" for that number, (d) the successor institution in Edubase
had a similar name to the current OSM object, and (e) the successor
institution's postcode had a centroid reasonably close to the current
OSM object.

* The idea was to update the ref:edubase numbers on schools which had
legally closed and re-opened on the same site, typically this happens
for schools becoming academies or those changing academy
provider/sponsor. The checks in (d) and (e) above, were designed to
avoid more complicated changes that might involve schools merging or
changing sites, and so would warrant a more through investigation and
tag updating.

* When a school legally changes like this, it can often be accompanied
by a minor change in name, e.g. the addition of the word "Academy" or
the Acadmy Sponsor's name, or the dropping of some previous
qualifications (e.g. grant maintained, or voluntary controlled) that
no longer apply. I therefore took the opportunity to update the names
to the official names recorded on Edubase.

* For the majority of objects in the changeset, the name hasn't
actually been changed. Some of the other changes are trivial things
like the addition or removal of a "." in "St". The other name changes
are then a mix of important things (like adding "Academy") and more
stylistic things (such as whether you include or spell out "CofE").

* Schools are often inconsistent themselves over what they display on
signs, their website, titles, logos/crests and letters to parents. And
any exterior signage or websites may not be up to date, especially
following a legal change.

* I was only changing the names for these schools that are legally new
entities at the same time as updating the ref:edubase tags. I wasn't
planning on any wider bulk changes to the names. Even if you want to
use the on-the-ground-rule to determine the name, given that the
school has recently undergone a legal change, I don't think there's
any reason to suppose that an old name=* value (which may or may not
have been sourced from a ground survey) is more likely to be correct
after the change than the new official name that the school has itself
has recently recorded with the Department for Education.


Robert Whittaker

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