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Tens of thousands of pupils live at least 10 kilometres from their nearest mainstream secondary school, and more are likely to end up in these “cold spots” as falling rolls drive closures.

Analysis by SchoolDash found 20,198 pupils in 143 neighbourhoods of England had no non-selective state secondary school within 10 kilometres of their home. The average catchment area of a secondary school is around four kilometres, the organisation said.

Researchers looked at distances from school in around 34,000 so-called “lower layer super output areas” – each equating to a small village or group of streets in a town.

Grammar and private schools were excluded from the calculation, because they are not accessible to all pupils.

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