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CentrePiece article
School Segregation and its Consequences
Steve Gibbons and Shqiponja Telhaj
February 2008
Paper No' CEPCP239:
Full Paper (pdf)

CentrePiece 12 (3) Winter 2008

The average ability of children going into the best comprehensive schools in England is way above the average ability in the worst, according to a study of the extent to which high- and low-achieving pupils are separated into different secondary schools. Stephen Gibbons and Shqiponja Telhaj find that such 'educational segregation' is even greater when their analysis includes schools that can 'cream skim' pupils by ability or religion.

These patterns of segregation could have real consequences in terms of educational inequality. But the research also shows that segregation has not been increasing over time. What's more, any contribution that a peer group makes to a child's academic progress seems to be small, although there might be other, non-academic effects.

This article summarises Peer Effects and Pupil Attainment: Evidence from Secondary School Transition by Stephen Gibbons and Shqiponja Telhaj, Centre for the Economics of Education (CEE) Discussion Paper No. 63