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‘Sleep-walking towards segregation’? The changing ethnic composition of English schools, 1997–2003: an entry cohort analysis

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There has been considerable public debate recently in England regarding levels of segregation (and changes in those levels) not only by neighbourhood but also in schools. Few data are available to evaluate claims that such segregation has been increasing in the country's schools, however. This paper uses a data set released by the Department for Education and Skills which indicates the ethnic identity for every student in the entry cohorts for all English primary and secondary schools between 1997 and 1998 (for primary and secondary schools respectively) and 2003. Analysis indicates that there has been some increase in segregation levels in a few cities, but only to the expected extent given the changing relative size of the ethnic minority populations there. Segregation is relatively high in the country's schools, but has only increased if the minority groups’ share of the entry cohorts has been increasing.
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Keywords: England; ethnicity; schools; segregation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1SS, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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