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Understanding parental choices of secondary school in England using national administrative data

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper

Original languageEnglish
Publisher or commissioning bodyUniversity of Bristol
Volume17 / 689
DatePublished - 31 Oct 2017

Publication series

NameDiscussion Paper


We study the process of school choice in England, using a new dataset giving all the preferences of all parents seeking a school place in state secondary schools. We set out new facts on the number of choices made, the chance of getting an offer from the first choice, and whether the nearest school is first choice. We use the rich data available to describe these choices by pupil characteristics, school characteristics and neighbourhood characteristics. We show that parents do pro-actively use the choice system, but that the admissions criteria do not work well for poorer families.

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