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Social segregation in Secondary Schools: how does England compare with other countries?

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  • P. Jenkins, Stephen
  • Micklewright, John
  • Viola Schnepf, Sylke

Abstract

We provide new evidence about the degree of social segregation in England's secondary schools, employing a cross-national perspective. Analysis is based on data for 27 rich industrialised countries from the 2000 and 2003 rounds of the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA), using a number of different measures of social background and of segregation, and allowing for sampling variation in the estimates. England is shown to be a middle-ranking country, as is the USA. High segregation countries include Austria, Belgium, Germany and Hungary. Low segregation countries include the four Nordic countries and Scotland. In explaining England's position, we argue that its segregation is mostly accounted for by unevenness in social background in the state school sector. Focusing on this sector, we show that cross-country differences in segregation are associated with the prevalence of selective choice of pupils by schools. Low-segregation countries such as those in the Nordic area and Scotland have negligible selection in schools. High segregation countries like Austria, Germany and Hungary have separate school tracks for academic and vocational schooling and, in each case, over half of this is accounted for by unevenness in social background between the different tracks rather than by differences within each track.

Suggested Citation

  • P. Jenkins, Stephen & Micklewright, John & Viola Schnepf, Sylke, 2006. "Social segregation in Secondary Schools: how does England compare with other countries?," ISER Working Paper Series 2006-02, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2006-02
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert Hutchens, 2004. "One Measure of Segregation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 555-578, May.
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    4. Hutchens, Robert, 2001. "Numerical measures of segregation: desirable properties and their implications," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 13-29, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Diane Reay, 2007. "'Unruly Places' : Inner-city Comprehensives, Middle-class Imaginaries and Working-class Children," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 44(7), pages 1191-1201, June.
    2. Stephen Gibbons & Shqiponja Telhaj, 2007. "Are Schools Drifting Apart? Intake Stratification in English Secondary Schools," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 44(7), pages 1281-1305, June.
    3. Coral del Río & Olga Alonso-Villar, 2008. "Occupational and industrial segregation of female and male workers in Spain: An alternative approach," Working Papers 84, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    4. Elena Fumagalli & laura Fumagalli, 2009. "Like oil and water or chocolate and peanut butter? Ethnic diversity and social participation of young people in England," Working Papers 2009_21, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    5. Jairo G Isaza Castro & Karen Hernandez & Karen Guerrero & Jessy Hemer, 2017. "Computing occupational segregation indices with standard errors: an ado file application with an illustration for Colombia," 2017 Stata Conference 18, Stata Users Group.

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