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Urban Density and Pupil Attainment

Data Collection

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Stephen Gibbons and Olma Silva from the Centre for the Economics of Education researched the link between inner city schools and pupil attainment. They found that pupils in urban schools tend to have lower attainment compared to pupils in more rural schools, in line with their socio-economic status.

This document summarises an investigation into the influence of urban density on pupil attainment in schools in England, using the transition of pupils from Primary to Secondary school.

Using a census of over 1.2 million pupils in England, matched to records on their academic progress, the authors assessed whether pupils in city schools really show low-educational progress relative to schools in lower-density, suburban, semi-rural and rural areas.

The research found that, although pupil attainment in dense urban places is low on average, this is not because urban environments disadvantage pupils but because disadvantaged pupils with low average attainments attend the most urbanised schools.

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    Audience: DCSF, Journalists, Local Authorities, Local Authority School Improvement Advisers, Researchers, Statisticians
    Format:   Date issued: May 2008
    Function: Data Collection  Reference: CEE01-07

    Price: FREE



    • Introduction/Background
    • Key Findings/Recommendations
    • Methodology
    • Other Findings
    • Conclusions and Implications
    • Additional Information

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