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Allocating Pupils to Their Nearest Secondary School: The Consequences for Social and Ability Stratification

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  • Rebecca Allen

    (Institute of Education, University of London-Bedford Group for Lifecourse and Statistical Studies, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL, UK, rallen@ioe.ac.uk)

Abstract

This study examines the proposition that secondary school choice in England has produced a stratified education system, compared with a counterfactual world where pupils are allocated into schools based strictly on proximity via a simulation that exploits the availability of pupil postcodes in the National Pupil Database. The study finds current levels of sorting in the English secondary school system-defined as pupils who do not attend their proximity allocation school-to be around 50 per cent, but estimates that only one-in-five pupils are potentially active in sorting between non-faith comprehensive schools. School segregation is almost always lower in the proximity counterfactual than in the actual data, confirming that where pupils are sorting themselves into a non-proximity school, it does tend to increase social and ability segregation. The difference between school and residential segregation is greatest in urban areas and LEAs with many pupils in grammar and voluntary-aided schools.

Suggested Citation

  • Rebecca Allen, 2007. "Allocating Pupils to Their Nearest Secondary School: The Consequences for Social and Ability Stratification," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 44(4), pages 751-770, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:44:y:2007:i:4:p:751-770
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    Cited by:

    1. Claire Crawford & Lindsey Macmillan & Anna Vignoles, 2015. "When and why do initially high attaining poor children fall behind?," DoQSS Working Papers 15-08, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    2. Simon Burgess & Ellen Greaves & Anna Vignoles & Deborah Wilson, 2015. "What Parents Want: School Preferences and School Choice," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(587), pages 1262-1289, September.
    3. Rebecca Allen & Simon Burgess & Tomas Key, 2010. "Choosing secondary school by moving house: school quality and the formation of neighbourhoods," DoQSS Working Papers 10-21, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    4. Witte, K. de & Ong, C., 2014. "School choice, segregation, and forced school closure," MERIT Working Papers 008, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    5. De Fraja, Gianni & Martínez-Mora, Francisco, 2014. "The desegregating effect of school tracking," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 164-177.
    6. Rebecca Allen & Simon Burgess & Leigh McKenna, 2010. "How should we treat under-performing schools? A regression discontinuity analysis of school inspections in England," DoQSS Working Papers 10-20, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    7. Allen, Rebecca & Burgess, Simon, 2013. "Evaluating the provision of school performance information for school choice," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 175-190.
    8. Richard Harris, 2011. "Measuring social segregation between London’s secondary schools, 2003 – 2008/9," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 11/260, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    9. Stephen Gibbons & Olmo Silva, 2011. "Faith Primary Schools: Better Schools or Better Pupils?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(3), pages 589-635.
    10. Jennings, Colin, 2015. "Collective choice and individual action: Education policy and social mobility in England," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 288-297.
    11. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:63:y:2018:i:c:p:100-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Rebecca Allen & Anna Vignoles, 2016. "Can school competition improve standards? The case of faith schools in England," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 959-973, May.
    13. Santos, Humberto & Elacqua, Gregory, 2016. "Socioeconomic school segregation in Chile: parental choice and a theoretical counterfactual analysis," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), August.
    14. Rebecca Allen, 2010. "Does school autonomy improve educational outcomes? Judging the performance of foundation secondary schools in England," DoQSS Working Papers 10-02, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.

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