The separation of lower and higher attaining pupils in the transition from primary to secondary schools: a longitudinal study of London
This paper uses methods of spatial analysis to show that lower and higher attaining pupils are separating from each other as they make the transition from primary to secondary schools in London. The observation is not simply a function of geography – that some places are more affluent, with a link between wealth and educational advantage – because separations emerge between locally competing secondary schools: those that are drawing their intakes from the same primary schools. Whilst the separations are partly exacerbated by selective and by faith schools, in all but one year during the period 2003‐8 they remain statistically significant even when those schools are omitted. However, there is no evidence to suggest the separation of lower and higher attaining pupils is getting worse or better, suggesting the geographical determinants of “choice” are strong and not easily changed.
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