Investigating how ethnic school segregation shifts between each stage of England’s school admission system, and how such patterns could differ in seven simulated admissions systems

7th February 2022 : 12:45 - 14:00

Category: Seminar Webinar

Research Group: Quantitative Methods Hub

Speaker: Peter Mitchell

Location: Presentation in Seminar Room D, also available online

Convener: Lars-Erik Malmberg

Audience: Public

Presentation in seminar room D, also available online.

Register here to watch remotely.


Peter Mitchell,

Department of Education,

University of Oxford,


As the English school population becomes increasingly ethnically diverse there has been a renewed focus on perceived ethnic division within the school system. Using a bespoke extract from the National Pupil Database on the application choices of year 6 students, this analysis charts how segregation shifted during the 2016/17 school admissions cycle and explores how segregation may have differed, had students been allocated to schools using alternative approaches. The analysis found that school segregation rose between each stage of the admissions process and that all seven simulations exhibited lower median H values than observed in practice. Simulations that allocated students to schools using academic banding within the current admissions system, or that used a strict home-school distance rule without any parental choice, produced some of the lowest median H values, which offers timely evidence to support debates on how to reduce ethnic school segregation in the future.