Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Geography Matters: Explaining Education Inequalities of Latvian Children in England

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Abstract:  This article explores the issue of “geography of education” focusing on the pivotal contribution of place to one’s education. The geographic location of schools and the administrative organisation of local authorities that are responsible for state schools in England create sociospatial inequalities that are associated with individual life‐course trajectories and can contribute to the intergenerational transfer of disadvantage. This article focuses on Latvian migrant families for whom better status often can be achieved through being included in the education system of the country. Therefore, the educational achievement of the children who speak Latvian at home but live and attend schools in England is the main focus of this article. The academic attainment of these children is well below not only the national average across all levels of compulsory education but also compared to both monolingual English speakers and all pupils speaking English as an additional language. The article provides evidence that in addition to the sociodemographic individual and family‐level factors geography also plays a significant role in explaining the educational achievement gaps. As the descriptive quantitative analysis of the geographical and educational data indicates, Latvian children are disproportionally present in local authorities where there is a relatively high proportion of low‐quality schools, a higher‐than‐average proportion of individuals with low qualifications and those in low‐qualified jobs.

Keywords:  educational inequalities; geography of education; intergenerational; Latvian; migration; socio‐spatial context



© Olga Cara. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.