How data and insights delivered a curriculum that equips students for the working world

The Situation
How can the Greater Brighton MET College (GB MET – ( deliver a curriculum that matches the demand from students, as well as one that supplies the labour market with a skilled workforce? How can they use their data to enable relevant curriculum planning? These are some of the questions put to Bon Insight by the Head of Marketing and Student Recruitment from the GB MET.

The Challenge
The college offers a wide range of further education qualifications for 16-18 year olds, teaching 3,500+ students. Recruitment has been challenging recently due to a demographic dip in this age group, as well as strong local competition. To answer these critical questions, it was important to understand (a) recruitment trends over the last 3 years across all curriculum subjects and (b) local labour forecast in the next 3-5 years, using both internal and external data sources:

– Recruitment data: anonymised student and enrolment data over the last 3 years (numbers of applicants per course/subject, gender splits, location)
– Feeder schools data: where do students enrol from? What’s working or not?
– Emsi data (subscription-based economic Modelling tool): providing labour and curriculum data to UK colleges, helping them align and rationalise their curriculum to local demand.

Working with an external consultant was key, due to lack of time and relevant analysis skills in-house, coupled with the ability for an external to offer impartial insight on the findings.

The Results
A two-month plan was agreed and the curriculum was broken down into 16 key areas. 16 individual reports were created for each subject area, including trends, insights, analysis and recommendations. Each report was 15-25 pages in length depending on the size of the department. Overall findings were summarised in a master report for the leadership team.
The College Management Group feedback was “excellent”. The Heads of Departments have been tasked with using the reports to shape their 2020 course offering and the Head of Marketing and Admissions will support them in the planning meetings to ensure all recommendations are fully considered.


We approached Bon Insight to do some in-depth analysis on Labour Market Intelligence (LMI) and student recruitment trends to inform our curriculum planning process, not having analyst skills in-house. Bonamy fully engaged with the project right from the start and suggested lots of ways to refine and improve the curriculum reports. She carried out a very detailed analysis of several complex datasets and produced 16 reports, which were well researched, written and presented and easy to understand for non-data savvy staff members. The reports will be invaluable in deciding on the future strategic direction of the College and also include lots of information which will be used for marketing our courses.

Bonamy is a pleasure to work with, she really took time to understand what we were trying to achieve with the reports and went above and beyond with her own research to make them as useful for us as possible. I would recommend her highly and hope to work with her again in the future.”

Lucie Coxon, Head of Marketing and Student Recruitment,

Greater Brighton MET College (Nov 2018)


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