01/11/2001 Education Sociology
DOI: 10.1080/13632430120108916 SemanticScholar ID: 144336151 MAG: 2023822602

The Composition of Specialist Schools in England: Track record and future prospect

Publication Summary

The specialist schools programme is currently seen by policy makers as a way of transforming the comprehensive education system, and meeting the local needs of parents for diversity and excellence. Insofar as this policy has an evidence-base this has been provided by studies showing higher levels of attainment among existing specialist schools. This article shows that if these advantages occur then there is a danger that they do so at a cost in terms of inclusion. The existing specialist schools have also shown a greater tendency to take proportionately fewer children from poor families over time, especially where these schools are also their own admission authorities. If this trend continues it will exacerbate the pre-existing social and economic segregation in the education system. The article ends by considering some of the implications for school organisation.

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Stephen Gorard

Prof. Stephen Gorard

University of Durham - Professor in the School of Education

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