Within-School Achievement Sorting in Comprehensive and Tracked Systems
This event is Seminar 5 in DSPI’s Hilary Term Seminar Series.

Booking is required for people outside of the Department of Social Policy and Intervention (DSPI).

Why do inequalities in schooling persist, even in relatively egalitarian school systems? This article examines within school sorting as an
explanation. We use classroom data on friendship networks in 480 European secondary schools and contrast comprehensive (England,
Sweden) and tracked systems (Germany, Netherlands).

Our question is to what extent comprehensive systems reduce achievement sorting at the level of a) schools, b) classrooms, and c) friendships.
Between school variance in achievement is lower in comprehensive systems. However, this is counterbalanced by greater sorting within schools, between classrooms, and, especially, in friendship networks. Still, comprehensive schools create more equal environments for two reasons. First, the difference in between school sorting is larger than the difference in within school sorting. Second, within school sorting is less strongly related to social background characteristics.

These findings help explain both why comprehensive schools produce more equal outcomes and how substantial inequality can nevertheless persist.

DSPI Members do not need to register.
Date: 22 February 2024, 16:00 (Thursday, 6th week, Hilary 2024)
Venue: 32-42 Wellington Square (Barnett House), 32-42 Wellington Square OX1 2ER
Venue Details: Hybrid event - online via Zoom
Speaker: Per Engzell (Nuffield College, University of Oxford)
Organising department: Department of Social Policy and Intervention
Organiser contact email address: communications@spi.ox.ac.uk
Host: Professor Erzsébet Bukodi (University of Oxford)
Part of: DSPI Hilary Term 2024 Seminar Series
Booking required?: Required
Booking url: https://forms.office.com/e/gWncKubNAz
Booking email: communications@spi.ox.ac.uk
Audience: Public
Editors: Ngwarirai Mandrup, Faith Inch