What Is PEST Analysis?

Are you making a pest of yourself?


But are you using PEST in your school?

PEST stands for the analysis of the external factors which are beneficial when conducting research before beginning a new project.

These factors are:

  • Political – Laws, global issues, legislation and regulations which may have an effect on your school either immediately or in the future. This normally translates as government expectations of education.
  • Economic –  taxes, interest rates, inflation. Take this to mean government spending, school budgets and funding opportunities.
  • Social – the changes in lifestyle (attitudes to education and leisure), health, welfare, trends, media, major events and ethics.
  • Technological – new discoveries and developments, innovations, access to technology, speed of technology transfer, research funding, global communications and impact of changes in information technology on the school.

This is also known as SLEPT where the inclusion of the letter L equates to Legal factors – legislation which has been proposed and may come into effect and any passed legislations, safeguarding and preventing extremism policies, environmental regulation and protection in employment law).

PEST and SLEPT can also be rearranged to PESTLE which includes E for Environmental – environmental issues either locally or globally and their social and political factors. Even more infuriating is the fact that some see it necessary to make this STEEPLE and STEELPED to include Ethics and Demographic factors but I’m sticking with PEST.

You might think that PEST isn’t really necessary as it is covered under the T of SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) because threats relate to the external macro environmental factors. But the problem here is that the T of SWOT is seldom a deep analysis of the external factors so making a PEST of yourself is necessary.

Being outward looking in education is crucial because understanding the macro informs your micro and will contribute to the success of any changes you want to make.

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