Admissions to Academy Schools in England
England has had various forms of school choice for decades. Stephen Machin and Anne West focus on the introduction of academy schools, a new form of secondary school, in 2000. Academies are broadly similar to charter schools in the United States in that they are independently run public schools that are subject to a different regulatory framework from other public schools. By 2008–2009, 4 percent of secondary schools in England were academies. (In comparison, about 3 percent of K–12 students now attend charter schools in the United States.)
The empirical work conducted by Machin and West examined two issues: (1) the impact of the introduction of academies on the enrollment mix in academies and neighboring schools; and (2) the effect of academies on nearby residential property values. Machin and West found that schools that converted to academies experienced a significant increase in the quality of their students, but that this increase appeared to come at the expense of nearby secondary schools, which experienced a decrease in test scores of admitted pupils. Machin and West also found that house prices in the area of an academy conversion rose by about 7 percent.
This paper was presented at the Lincoln Institute’s annual Land Policy Conference in 2013 and is Chapter 11 of the book Education, Land, and Location.