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Unequal AttainmentsEthnic educational inequalities in ten Western countries$
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Anthony Heath and Yaël Brinbaum

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265741

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265741.001.0001

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Academic and Vocational Tracking in Upper Secondary Education

Academic and Vocational Tracking in Upper Secondary Education

Chapter:
(p.119) 5 Academic and Vocational Tracking in Upper Secondary Education
Source:
Unequal Attainments
Author(s):

Laurence Lessard-Phillips

Yaël Brinbaum

Anthony Heath

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265741.003.0005

This chapter focuses on students who continue in full-time education after compulsory schooling and asks whether minority students are disproportionately channelled into lower-status vocational tracks and are excluded from the high-status academic tracks which lead to higher education. The picture that emerges is of distinct patterns in different sets of countries. In Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, minority groups are less likely to follow the academic track, but this under-representation can be entirely explained by their disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds and relatively low grades in lower secondary school. However, in a second group of countries – England and Wales, Finland, France and Sweden –most minorities are in fact more likely to follow the academic track than their majority-group peers from similar socioeconomic backgrounds and with similar grades. The indications are that comprehensive systems offer greater opportunities for minority students to fulfil their ambitions than do tracked educational systems.

Keywords:   academic track, vocational track, second generation, ethnic penalties, ethnic premia

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