Tijdschrift voor Onderwijsrecht en Onderwijsbeleid vol:2012 issue:3 pages:205-225
From 2013-2014 on Flemish primary schools in areas with a local consultation platform have to strive for a social mix that is proportionate with their environments. Differentiation between sub-areas (natural catchment areas) with respect to the proportions of seats to be reserved for socially disadvantaged pupils, is allowed. An often heard critique is that such a differentiation would tend to strengthen existing school segregation rather than lead to desegregation. In this article, first the new Flemish regulations with regard to desegregation are analysed. Next – using the figures for the city of Ghent as a case study – quantitative analyses show that (within the Flemish context) in neighbourhoods with high rates of socially disadvantaged pupils goal setting based on the average proportion of socially disadvantaged pupils across the city would either have no effect or even lead to more segregation. The conclusion is that desegregation within catchment areas is surely worthwhile enough and a more realistic goal than a uniform social mix across the whole city.