Professor Marco Bertoni, Professor Stephen Gibbons and Doctor Olmo Silva
Starting from the proposition that recent education policy seeks to incentivise school improvement and facilitate pupil-school matching by introducing reforms that actively promote autonomy and choice, this research papers sets out to understand how families form preferences for different schools.
The authors look at what effect the academy programme has had on choice, using administrative data on school applications for three cohorts of pupils. They set out to establish whether academy conversion affects schools’ popularity.
The study found that on average families – particularly well-off, White British families – rank converted schools higher. The authors suggest when making choices about schools families combine the conversion to an academy with prior information on quality, popularity and proximity as a heuristic for assessing their different options.
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