The effect of changes in published secondary school admissions on pupil composition

Becky Allen, John Coldron, Anne West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Data from three school admissions surveys and the National Pupil Database are combined to investigate whether changes to the School Admissions Code appear to have altered the published admissions policies and the social composition of particular schools. We show that the 2003 and 2007 School Admissions Codes appear to have been at least in part responsible for changes in the social composition of pupils at schools with criteria and arrangements that were subsequently deemed inadmissible. Although the average impact is relatively small, the direction of the impact is consistent with the observation that school segregation across England has declined a little at the same time that regulations were tightening. Our regression analysis of changes in individual school compositions is able to show this relationship holds even when changes in neighbourhood composition are accounted for. These measured associations that we identify suggest that, if the differentiation of school intakes is a concern, then regulating admission arrangements does appear to have an impact.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-366
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Education Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2011


  • Quantative
  • Equity / social justice


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