by William Warren Munroe, January 2012

There have been three main successes, so far, coming from the public consultation process here in the Qualicum School District, two of which benefited all BC School Districts.

I. Review of historical enrolment numbers shows enrolment was lower in the past than the forecasted low in the near future, January 17, and 31, 2011

Population and enrolment analysis presentations helped highlight the importance of the changing, fluctuating, age distribution (the boom, bust, and now the echo moving thru the grade schools) when considering the opening and closing of BC schools. The addition of this information, as part of the public consultation process, helped justify the reconsideration of the recommendations to close the high school in Qualicum Beach.

Click the chart on the right to see a summary of the "Population Change and Fluctuating Enrolment" presentations including a comparison of the charts, one provided by the consultant and Qualicum School District, the others I created using numbers provided by the Ministry of Education and the QSD.

II. Scott Fraser, MLA for Alberni-Pacific Rim, raises the issue of fluctuating enrolment at the 2011 BC Legislative Session, May 17, 2011

MLA Scott Fraser understands the importance of the changing, fluctuating, age distribution and raised this in the Legislature. The Education Minister, George Abbott, agreed with Mr. Fraser that the funding formula may still be improved.

See the Third Session, 39th Parliament for the Committee of Supply, ESTIMATES: MINISTRY OF EDUCATION on the Hansard website. Scroll down to the [1550] (3:50pm). Click the back button on your browser to return to this site.

III. After over ten years of not publicizing the many changes to the methods and models used to estimate population by age and sex, to areas within the province, including School Districts, BC Stats, makes public, the methods to be used in 2011, August, 2011

In order to plan the opening and closing of public and private facilities, including public grade schools, reference to population estimates and forecasts is beneficial, and necessary.

In this way, mistakes, like closing a school, tearing it down, and selling the land, when it will be necessary to build a new one in the near future, thereby wasting time and money, can be avoided.

BC is unique among Canadian provinces in that it has it's own Official Statistical Agency, BC Stats. BC Stats' population estimates and forecasts are used when considering opening and closing of pubic and private facilities, including public schools.

Indeed, BC Stats' numbers were referred to in the report justifying the recommendation to permanently close the high school in Qualicum Beach. Unfortunately, these numbers are created using methods and models that are not made public.

Between 2001 and 2011 there were many changes to the methods that were not publicized. For example, in 2002, BC Stats started to use the change in the number of telephone landlines as an indicator of population change.

BC Stats should provide a margin of error so that parents and administrators are not closing schools based on numbers that have a low confidence level, and a wide confidence interval ... eg. stating that the forecasted enrolment should be between so low and so high...this would serve communities better, by saving time and money.

After many inquiries about why BC Stats' population estimation model did not show the real methods used to create population estimates, particularly between 2001 and 2011, BC Stats publicized the methods to be used in 2011 in August 2011.

The last published paper was in 1998. The many changes to the model that occurred between 2001 and 2011 have not been published. Were the methods creating reliable information? Read more...

what have people been saying about Warren Munroe's Population Analysis?

Back to Top

Website content, code, and design by W.W. Munroe. Copyright 2012.