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What can be done to mitigate the persistent social segregation of secondary schools in England? PowerPoint Presentation
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What can be done to mitigate the persistent social segregation of secondary schools in England?

What can be done to mitigate the persistent social segregation of secondary schools in England?

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What can be done to mitigate the persistent social segregation of secondary schools in England?

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  1. What can be done to mitigate the persistent social segregation of secondary schools in England? John Coldron Caroline Cripps Lucy ShiptonCentre for Education and Inclusion ResearchSheffield Hallam University

  2. The problem is not access to the good schools • The majority of parents gain access to their most preferred secondary school • The odds of gaining access do not vary by the social characteristics of the parents • If the problem is cast as one of access we are caught in an untenable discourse of good and bad schools and of explaining poorer parents’ choice as some sort of false consciousness • Parents overwhelmingly choose on the basis of who they want their child to have as peers and who the parents (usually the mother) want as their social network • The problem is not access but segregated schooling

  3. Why is the social segregation of schooling a problem? • Unfair: not because of unequal access to the ‘good’ schools but because some schools and pupils have a much more difficult task that is under-resourced • Some evidence that it adversely affects the attainment of already disadvantaged children • Lack of interaction and integration reduces social cohesion, civility, mutual respect – the problem of parallel lives. • Admissions in a polarised area leads to harmful denigration and mal-recognition • Difficult to administer.

  4. Factors put forward to explain segregation • Residential segregation • Covert selection by some schools • Working class parents do not engage strongly with the process of choice • Working class parents are less capable of negotiating the process • There are class differences in parents’ criteria for choice • Working class parents have fewer resources and this inhibits choice

  5. Factors put forward to explain segregation • Residential segregation • Covert selection by some schools • Working class parents do not engage strongly with the process of choice • Working class parents are less capable of negotiating the process • There are class differences in parents’ criteria for choice • Working class parents have fewer resources and this inhibits choice

  6. 1. Interventions with schools

  7. 2. Interventions with parents

  8. 3. Other interventions

  9. Revisiting explanation • The most coherent explanation of segregation is in terms of classed practices but not crudely as the middle class abandoning the working class. • The great social distance between the most advantaged and the least, the benefits of solidarity and the restrictive effects of social policing lead the majority of both affluent and poor parents to opt for segregated schooling. • School segregation first expresses and then sustains great social distance and the lack of mutual respect and civility that it engenders. It is more symptom than cause.

  10. So – what can we do? • Critique, construct alternatives, and enact at all levels with a realistic understanding of the where power lies. • Act locally to better balance intakes using admission arrangements that have a real effect such as banding. • Argue for inclusive practice in the classroom, and in the internal organisation of the school. • Critique the vision of education driving the actions of politicians and policy makers and construct and justify practices of mutual respect as the grounds for legitimising interventions at all levels. • Reduce the social distance between the most and least advantaged by reducing the inequalities of income, status and respect.

  11. The arguments in this presentation are drawn from the following publications Coldron J, Cripps C, Shipton L (2010) Why are English secondary schools socially segregated? Journal of Education Policy. 25 (1) January 2010 Coldron J, Willis B, Wolstenholme C (2009) Selection by attainment and aptitude in English secondary schools British Journal of Educational Studies Stiell B, Shipton L, Coldron J, Coldwell M (2008) Choice Advice: an Evaluation for Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) Coldron J, Tanner E, Finch S, Shipton L, Wolstenholme C, Willis B, Demack S, Stiell B (2008) Secondary School Admissions, Sheffield Hallam University with National Centre for Social Research (Report DCSF-RR020) Reference to the wider literature can be found in each of these papers.