Pupils on the move : School catchment area segregation and residential mobility of urban families

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Bernelius , V H & Vilkama , K 2019 , ' Pupils on the move : School catchment area segregation and residential mobility of urban families ' , Urban Studies , vol. 56 , no. 15 , 0042098019848999 , pp. 3095-3116 . https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098019848999

Title: Pupils on the move : School catchment area segregation and residential mobility of urban families
Alternative title: Oppilaat muuttomatkalla: Koulujen oppilasalueiden segregaatio ja kaupunkilaisperheiden muuttopäätökset
Author: Bernelius, Venla Helminna; Vilkama, Katja
Contributor organization: Department of Geosciences and Geography
Helsinki Inequality Initiative (INEQ)
Social studies in Urban Education (SURE)
Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies (Urbaria)
Division of Urban Geography and Regional Studies
Date: 2019-11
Language: eng
Number of pages: 22
Belongs to series: Urban Studies
ISSN: 0042-0980
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098019848999
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/310960
Abstract: Socio-spatial segregation has been recognised as an important factor affecting school segregation and educational attainment in urban schools. As urban populations grow and socio-spatial segregation has become a pressing issue in many contexts, a more sophisticated understanding of the interconnections between spatial and school segregation is needed, including the role of school catchment areas as a possible mediating factor. In our article, we focus on the two-way relationship between urban residential mobility and catchment area segregation in Helsinki, Finland. Using fine-grain statistical data we analyse how the long-term changes in spatial segregation have changed catchment area populations and how residential mobility of families with children is, in turn, related to catchment area composition. The analysis focuses on the majority population whose residential choices typically have the strongest impact on segregation patterns in cities. Our main finding is that there is a systematic relationship between socio-spatial segregation and catchment area differentiation, where the disadvantaged areas are consistently left behind in the general socio-economic development. Even though the institutional school quality is high throughout the city, the residential choices of families with children feed into the self-perpetuating cycles of segregation, as the most disadvantaged areas are rejected and privileged areas favoured in mobility patterns. The results highlight the need for urban educational policies with a high sensitivity to the persistent socio-spatial inequalities shaping educational opportunities.
Subject: 1172 Environmental sciences
519 Social and economic geography
families with children
residential mobility
school catchment areas
school segregation
urban segregation
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: unspecified
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: acceptedVersion

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