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Why do faith secondary schools have advantaged intakes?: the relative importance of neighbourhood characteristics, social background and religious identification amongst parents

By Rebecca Allen and Anne West


This paper explores reasons why secondary schools with a religious character have pupil intakes that are of a higher social background and ability than their secular counterparts. We show that this is especially true across all regions in England once the characteristics of the pupils living in the local neighbourhoods are taken into account. Data from the National Pupil Database and the Longitudinal Survey of Young People in England are combined to show that likely reasons for this are complex. Parents reporting a religious affiliation are more likely to be better educated, have a higher occupational class and a higher household income. We also show that higher-income religious families are more likely to have a child at a faith school than lower-income religious families. Policy implications regarding the state-funding of faith schools are discussed

Topics: LC Special aspects of education
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1080/01411926.2010.489145
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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