01/01/2011 Economics Education
DOI: 10.1068/A43309 SemanticScholar ID: 143902103 MAG: 2001963951

Measuring segregation—beware of the cautionary tale by Johnston and Jones

Publication Summary

Measuring school segregation in England Following an earlier research note (Gorard, 1997) there has been considerable policy and academic interest in measuring the extent to which pupils are clustered in UK schools with pupils of similar characteristics. There has also been a long-running academic debate about how to measure such segregation. The substantive debate about how segregation has changed over time is now largely settled (eg see Coldron et al, 2010), and the results of Gorard et al (2003) are widely confirmed or accepted (Allen and Vignoles, 2007; Croxford and Paterson, 2006; Johnston et al, 2006). However, discussion about the relative merits of various summary indices rumbles on. In particular, commentators have been concerned with the different characteristics of the more traditional index of dissimilarity (ID) and what has been termed the Gorard segregation index (GS). For any indicator of disadvantage, ID is the proportion of all pupils who would have to change schools for there to be no segregation between advantaged and disadvantaged pupils in the school system. GS is the proportion of disadvantaged pupils who would have to exchange schools with another pupil for there to be no segregation. The two indices sound and indeed are very similar, and both would be zero if all schools had their proportionate share of disadvantaged pupils. More formally, ID is given by:

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Stephen Gorard

Prof. Stephen Gorard

University of Durham - Professor in the School of Education

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