'In the second half of the seminar, Professor Gorard will draw out the policy implications of some EU-funded research on pupils’ views on equity in schools and on the segregation of school intakes across different European countries. In particular, he will argue that in order to assess whether school systems are equitable we need to pay attention to the lived experience of pupils in schools, and that concerns about equality and quality in education need not be in tension with one another. Professor Gorard’s argument is that the use of school improvement models has led to an undue emphasis on the most visible indicators of schooling - examination results – which may marginalise other purposes and benefits of schooling. Social, ethnic and economic segregation between schools matters, but not primarily for the sake of test results because, for pupils, schools are their life and not merely a preparation for it. In general the lessons from international studies are that the mix of pupils between schools whether in terms of occupational class, income or sex has little impact on attainment. So policy makers can feel free to use criteria other than effectiveness for deciding on the pattern of intakes to schools including criteria related to equity
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