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Social integration in schools – study shows the power of ethnically mixed schools to boost social cohesion

22 May 2018

Researchers have found that schools with greater ethnic diversity foster more social integration among students of different ethnicities, following research involving nearly 4000 Year 10 pupils, aged 14 and 15, from 96 English state schools – the first national study of its kind.

The research, conducted by the University of Bristol, the London School of Economics and Political Science, used data from a survey (the England sample of the CILS4EU) which provides measures of ‘warmth of feeling’ for each of the major ethnic groups towards each other. This is supplemented by information on friendships, attitudes to multiculturalism, and personal and school characteristics. To this researchers matched data on school ethnic composition.

"Our results also show that even small moves away from largely mono-ethnic schools towards more mixed ones produce positive changes,” Professor Simon Burgess of the Department of Economics said. “It is not the case that anything short of full integration is pointless."

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