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'I wanted my child to go to a more mixed school': schooling and ethnic mix in East London

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Chris Hamnett, Tim Butler, Mark Ramsden

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-574
Number of pages22
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number3
PublishedMar 2013

King's Authors


The minority ethnic population of Britain has grown rapidly in recent decades, but the percentage of minority ethnic pupils has increased more rapidly. This is particularly the case in inner London where over 50% of secondary school pupils are now from minority ethnic groups. The paper examines the issue of schooling and ethnic mix in East London with a focus on parental perceptions of school ethnic mix and parental decision making. It draws on secondary data on school ethnic mix and in-depth interviews with parents. It shows that, while most parents are happy with some degree of ethnic mix, the mix found in many schools is far from their ideal mix, particularly for White parents, and influences their decision making, possibly intensifying the segregation of ethnic groups in schools. The situation is made more complex by an element of class avoidance and attraction to schools with a strong aspirational and attainment ethos, irrespective of their ethnic mix.

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