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School Admissions after the School Standards and Framework Act: Bringing the LEAs Back In?

Fitz, John, Gorard, Stephen and Taylor, Christopher Matthew ORCID: 2002. School Admissions after the School Standards and Framework Act: Bringing the LEAs Back In? Oxford Review of Education 28 (2-3) , pp. 373-394. 10.1080/03054980220143487

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Historically, LEAs were responsible for the local planning and provision of schools. They ‘mattered’ because their organisational strategies and admissions policies contributed to the structure and equality of opportunities for families and children in their administrative areas. Some moved ahead with comprehensive schools earlier and faster than others, and some retained selection. Alongside admissions policies, these activites in turn shaped and reproduced the extent to which local schools were socially segregated. LEA capacity to shape the local school system was always constrained by the existence of the faith-based ‘voluntary’ schools sector and was further diminished, post-1988, by self-governing grant-maintained (GM) schools. The 1998 Schools Standards and Framework Act brought LEAs back into the admissions arena. In this paper we examine LEAs’ admissions policies and the extent to which these regulate local patterns of socio-economic segregation between schools. In this study we draw on a sample of 74 LEAs to explore these issues. Our � ndings point to some interesting paradoxes, most notably the fact that the most commonly used criterion in the allocation of students to places, catchment areas, is likely to create and sustain socio-economically segregated patterns of secondary schooling because these are linked in complex ways to residential segregation. We also show that selective education is strongly associated with high levels of strati� ed schooling and that voluntary and specialist schools also contribute to local patterns of school segregation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: L Education > LF Individual institutions (Europe)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0305-4985
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2022 09:24

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