Advertisement

Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 59–84 | Cite as

Primary Schools, Markets and Choice: Studying Polarization and the Core Catchment Areas of Schools

  • Richard HarrisEmail author
  • Ron Johnston
Article

Abstract

In this paper we distinguish polarization from other conceptions of segregation by conceiving the former as a local phenomenon. To this end we argue that evidence for any school-level separation of ethnic groups must be sought and contextualised within the local markets within which schools operate. By determining the ‘core catchment’ areas of primary schools from geographical micro-data reporting where pupils reside and which schools they attend so we estimate where and by how much schools compete with each other across spaces of admission, consider whether the ethnic compositions of those spaces are representative of the actual intakes of schools, and identify evidence of post-residential sorting and ethnic polarization, where locally competing schools draw markedly different student intakes. The focus of the study is in Birmingham, England but the results are compared with those for London.

Keywords

Catchments Choice Ethnicity PLASC Polarization Schools Segregation 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to two anonymous referees who provided helpful feedback on a draft of this paper. One, in particular, noted the parallels of this paper with the task and literature of defining local labour markets. This is a helpful observation which, though we have not pursued it here, may also be useful to readers.

The PLASC data are released for research by kind agreement of the Department for Education and Skills. There is a PLASC User group for people interested in using or acquiring the data. Please see http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO/PLUG/

The London study was prepared for the Social selection, social sorting and education conference (London, October, 2007). Copies of the presentations are available from the National Foundation for Educational Research (http://dev.nfer.steel-hosting.co.uk/) and from http://hdl.handle.net/1983/955

The research was funded by the Centre for Market and Public Organisation at the University of Bristol which is supported by the ESRC. Any errors or omissions are our own.

References

  1. Allen, R. (2007). Allocating pupils to their nearest secondary school: the consequences for social and ability stratification. Urban Studies, 44(4), 751–770.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen, R., & Vignoles, A. (2007). What should an index of school segregation measure. Oxford Review of Education, 33(5), 643–668.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Burgess, S., Briggs, A., McConnell, B., & Slater, H. (2006). School choice in England: Background facts. CMPO working paper 06/159, University of Bristol. http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO/workingpapers/workingpapers.htm.
  4. Chambers, J. M., Cleveland, W. S., Kleiner, B., & Tukey, P. A. (1983). Graphical methods for data analysis. Boston, MA: Duxbury Press.Google Scholar
  5. De Smith, M. J., Goodchild, M. F., & Longley, P. A. (2006). Geospatial Analysis: a comprehensive guide to principles, techniques and software tools. Leicester: Matader.Google Scholar
  6. Department for Education and Skills (DfES) (2005). Higher Standards, Better Schools For All. More choice for parents and pupils. Her Majesty’s Government.Google Scholar
  7. Dorling, D., Rigby, J., Wheeler, B., Ballas, D., Thomas, B., Fahmy, E., et al. (2007). Poverty, wealth and place in Britain, 1968 to 2005. York/Bristol: Joseph Rowntree Foundation in association with The Policy Press http://www.jrf.org.uk/bookshop/eBooks/2019-poverty-wealth-place.pdf.Google Scholar
  8. Gewirtz, S., Ball, S., & Bowe, R. (1995). Markets, choice and equity in education. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Gibbons, S., & Telhaj, S. (2007). Are schools drifting apart? Intake stratification in English secondary schools. Urban Studies, 44(7), 1281–1305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gibson, A., & Asthana, S. (2000a). Local markets and the polarization of public-sector schools in England and Wales. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers NS, 25(3), 303–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gibson, A., & Asthana, S. (2000b). What’s in a number? Commentary on Gorard and Fitz’s ‘Investigating the determinants of segregation between schools. Research Papers in Education, 15(2), 133–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Goldstein, H., & Noden, P. (2003). Modelling social segregation. Oxford Review of Education, 29(2), 225–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Goldstein, H., & Noden, P. (2004). A response to Gorard on social segregation. Oxford Review of Education, 30(3), 441–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gorard, S. (2000). Here we go again: a reply to ‘What’s in a number?’ by Gibson and Asthana. Research Papers in Education, 15(2), 155–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gorard, S. (2004). Comments on ‘Modelling social segregation’ by Goldstein and Noden. Oxford Review of Education, 30(3), 435–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gorard, S. (2007). What does an index of school segregation measure? A commentary on Allen and Vignoles. Oxford Review of Education, 33(5), 669–677.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gorard, S., & Fitz, J. (2000). Investigating the determinants of segregation between schools. Research Papers in Education, 15(2), 115–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gorard, S., Taylor, C., & Fitz, J. (2003). Schools, markets and choice policies. London: RoutledgeFalmer.Google Scholar
  19. Hamnett, C., Ramsden, M., & Butler, T. (2007). Social background, ethnicity, school composition and educational attainment in East London. Urban Studies, 44(7), 1255–1280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Harland, K., & Stillwell, J. (2007). Using PLASC data to identify patterns of commuting to school, residential migration and movement between schools in Leeds. School of Geography, Working Paper 07/03, University of Leeds. http://www.geog.leeds.ac.uk/wpapers/.
  21. Harris, R., Johnston, R., & Burgess, S. (2007). Neighborhoods, ethnicity and school choice: developing a statistical framework for geodemographic analysis. Population Research and Policy Review, 26(5–6), 553–579.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Johnston, R., Burgess, S., Wilson, D., & Harris, R. (2006). School and residential ethnic segregation: an analysis of variations across England’s local education authorities. Regional Studies, 40(9), 973–990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Johnston, R., Burgess, S., Harris, R., & Wilson, D. (2008). ‘Sleep-walking towards segregation’? The changing ethnic composition of English schools, 1997–2003: an entry cohort analysis. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 33(1), 73–90.Google Scholar
  24. Noden, P. (2000). Rediscovering the Impact of Marketization: dimensions of social segregation in England’s secondary schools, 1994–99. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 21(3), 371–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Phillips, T. (2005). After 7/7: Sleepwalking to segregation. Speech to Manchester Council for Community Relations, 22 September 2005. www.cre.gov.uk.
  26. Poulsen, M. F., Johnston, R. J., & Forrest, J. (2001). Intraurban ethnic enclaves: introducing a knowledge-based classification method. Environment and Planning A, 33(11), 2071–2082.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Poulsen, M. F., Johnston, R. J., & Forrest, J. (2002). Plural cities and ethnic enclaves: introducing a measurement procedure for comparative study. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 26(2), 229–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Schilling, M. F., & Watkins, A. E. (1994). A suggestion for sunflower plots. The American Statistician, 48(4), 303–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Waslander, S., & Thrupp, M. (1995). Choice, competition and segregation: an empirical analysis of a New Zealand secondary school market, 1990–93. Journal of Education Policy, 10(1), 1–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Geographical SciencesUniversity of BristolBristolUK

Personalised recommendations