Cover: The Use of Lottery Systems in School Admissions

The Use of Lottery Systems in School Admissions

Published Mar 1, 2007

by Cathy Stasz, Christian Van Stolk

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The Sutton Trust has commissioned RAND Europe to undertake a brief review of the use of lottery/ballot systems in admissions to schools. Evidence in the United Kingdom suggests that schools are [becoming] socially selective. Trends in school admissions on the basis of catchment areas might exacerbate social inequality in the United Kingdom. The new draft School Admissions Code coming into force in September 2008 allows schools to allocate places through the use of a lottery system. The underlying reason is that lotteries are seen as a fair and transparent way to distribute school places and promote equal access to educational opportunities. This raises questions on how and why lotteries have been used, how lottery schemes have been designed, and what the outcomes associated with lottery schemes have been.

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The research described in this report was prepared for the Sutton Trust and was conducted by RAND Europe.

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