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ERIC Number: EJ1150460
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1881
Lonely Schools: The Relationship between Geographic Isolation and Academic Attainment
Odell, Evan
Educational Research, v59 n3 p257-272 2017
Background: School improvement initiatives in England have focused on urban areas, which have traditionally been home to larger numbers of poor and underperforming pupils. Previous research has found that rural regions of the country have had higher overall educational attainment due to their greater affluence. However, that broad picture could be hiding under-serviced and under-performing pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. Purpose: The study's aim was to identify whether all pupils and all disadvantaged pupils attending geographically isolated secondary schools have different academic attainment rates compared with their peers at less isolated schools. Methods: The isolation of a school is calculated based on the average travel time by car to its five nearest state-funded mainstream secondary schools. This was then included as an independent variable, along with variables for school demographics, prior pupil attainment and neighbourhood deprivation. Results: Disadvantaged pupils attending more isolated schools had lower attainment rates (as measured by the percentage of students achieving grades of C or higher in English, mathematics and at least three other subjects at General Certificate of Secondary Education [GCSE] level) than pupils in less isolated schools, when controlling for school demographics and prior attainment. There was no relationship found between whole-school GCSE attainment and geographic isolation. Conclusion: When framing the challenges of providing equitable opportunities in education, broader contexts beyond pupil characteristics, such as geographic isolation, should be taken into consideration.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A