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The 'desegregation' of English schoolsBussing, race and urban space, 1960s-80s$
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Olivier Esteves

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526124852

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526124852.001.0001

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Reluctant cities: how London and Birmingham said no to dispersal

Reluctant cities: how London and Birmingham said no to dispersal

(p.93) 4 Reluctant cities: how London and Birmingham said no to dispersal
The 'desegregation' of English schools

Olivier Esteves

Manchester University Press

In this chapter, the local situations of Birmingham and London are analysed. Although these were the two conurbations accommodating by far the largest number of immigrant children, they were reluctant to introduce dispersal. In Birmingham, some key Labour figures (Denis Howell, Roy Hattersley) campaigned actively in favour of it, and were dissatisfied when the city refused to operate it, afraid as it was of its detrimental effects. There, dispersal was a major bone of contention, until a voluntary type of dispersal was finally decided upon, which proved ineffective against ethnic-minority clustering in schools. In the Inner London Education Authority, dispersal was more massively rejected, mostly owing to a neighbourhood-school-based approach and to the specific resources London enjoyed. Lastly, this chapter studies the debate on the introduction of ‘banding’ in Haringey, which was presented as an IQ-based type of dispersal. This caused a major controversy after Alderman Doulton locally suggested West Indians had lower IQs than autochthonous pupils.

Keywords:   London, Birmingham, Banding and dispersal, IQ tests, Neighbourhood schools

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