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Local Education Authorities and the regulation of educational markets: four case studies

Fitz, John, Taylor, Christopher Matthew ORCID: and Gorard, Stephen 2002. Local Education Authorities and the regulation of educational markets: four case studies. Research Papers in Education 17 (2) , pp. 125-146. 10.1080/02671520210122900

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One key finding that has emerged from our study of the impact of market reforms on the school systems in England and Wales is that there has been overall decline in the social stratification of schools. Nevertheless, between-school stratification remains high. There are regional and local variations in the pattern in which stratification has decreased in some areas and increased in others. In this paper we focus on the role of LEA admissions policies and show how these regulate the choice of school afforded to parents and suggest how geographical variation in between-school social stratification is maintained and reproduced. The four case study LEAs discussed in detail here (Cardiff, Brent, Carmarthenshire and Hertfordshire), which offer significantly different market scenarios, are part of a larger study examining the admissions arrangements and impacts on school intakes for all 161 LEAs in England and Wales. In total 23 LEAs were interviewed about their admissions arrangements, each one representing different kinds of LEAs--English to Welsh; metropolitan to county; urban to rural--with contrasting admissions policies and different levels of segregation between schools. The paper reports that post-1998 school admissions policies, put in place to overcome some of the difficulties that arose from open enrolment, including children being denied places at nearby schools, have done little to redress the advantages the grant-maintained and church-affiliated schools previously enjoyed in the recruitment stakes. Nor have they broken the mould of ‘selection by mortgage’ where residential segregation gives rise to schools with very different socio-economic intakes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: L Education > LF Individual institutions (Europe)
Uncontrolled Keywords: markets; admissions policies; LEAs; strati� cation; residential segregation; catchment areas
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1470-1146
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2022 09:24

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