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Minorities in Spanish Secondary Education: School Segregation, Between Reality and Official Statistics

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Abstract

The deepening of social inequality in Spain during the last decade due to the global financial crisis has brought a growth in residential and school segregation in urban areas. This article analyses ethnic segregation across four public secondary schools in the Northern Area of Alicante (Spain), covering six disadvantaged neighbourhoods with a high concentration of immigrant and Roma populations. To this end, the student bodies were examined according to their national and ethnic composition and their expectations for the future. Field work findings show that official statistics do not reflect the real situation of ethnic diversity in these schools, concealing the worrying dimensions of school segregation in marginalized areas, a phenomenon which has negative impacts on minority students’ aspirations and equal opportunities.

Keywords

  • Minority students
  • Immigrant background
  • Roma people
  • School segregation
  • Official statistics
  • Future aspirations

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Fig. 10.1

Sources *Ministry of education, culture and sport, **secretary of state for immigration and emigration

Fig. 10.2

Sources *Data from population continuous register (INE) and city council population statistics, **own survey

Fig. 10.3

Source Own survey

Fig. 10.4

Source Own survey

Fig. 10.5

Source Own survey

Fig. 10.6

Source Own survey

Fig. 10.7

Source Own survey

Fig. 10.8

Source Own survey

Fig. 10.9

Source Own survey

Fig. 10.10

Source Own survey

Notes

  1. 1.

    School segregation can be defined as the way in which a city’s student population is distributed across schools according to families’ socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, including data such as educational and financial capital, professional and social status and origin or ethnicity (Gorard et al. 2003). In Spain the causal relationship between residential and educational segregation (reflecting contradictions in public policy and particularly in the education system itself: Jiménez-Delgado 2016) is widely accepted among specialists (Benito and Gonzàlez-Balletbó 2007; Síndic de Greuges 2008; Alegre et al. 2008; Capellán de Toro et al. 2013).

  2. 2.

    In Spain, for constitutional reasons, ethnic statistics are not collected in official records, thus impeding knowledge of Roma school student numbers. All scientific research into this population is based on estimates or non-official calculations at a local or regional level. In response to this situation a number of experts have urged European states to collect statistics on this ethnic group in order to develop more in-depth knowledge and to counteract discrimination (Laparra 2007; European Council 2008; Vallvé 2009; FRA 2009; Crepaldi et al. 2008).

  3. 3.

    In Germany for instance, this concept includes the three following categories, (1) people who have immigrated to Germany since 1950, (2) people who were born in Germany with foreign citizenship and (3) people who were born in Germany and are living with at least one parent who either immigrated or was born in Germany as a foreigner (Scherr 2013).

  4. 4.

    On school segregation and the indices applied in this field, see amongst others Gorard et al. (2003), Benito and Gonzàlez-Balletbó (2007), Alegre et al. (2008), Oberti et al. (2012, 2014) and Frankenberg (2013).

  5. 5.

    It should be borne in mind that some of these schools have very high absenteeism and dropout rates.

  6. 6.

    In order to preserve the identity of the schools studied their names have been omitted.

  7. 7.

    PCPI and FP (Formación Profesional) are both vocational training programmes, however the former is taught at an equivalent level as the 2° cycle of ESO while the latter is taught at a post-compulsory level.

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El-Habib Draoui, B., Jiménez-Delgado, M., Ruiz-Callado, R. (2019). Minorities in Spanish Secondary Education: School Segregation, Between Reality and Official Statistics. In: Anson, J., Bartl, W., Kulczycki, A. (eds) Studies in the Sociology of Population. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94869-0_10

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