Many of the issues concerned with equality of opportunity in education have a spatial base. As studies in the geography of education assist the understanding of the problems involved, the first part of this dissertation considers the situation in breadth. In addition to reviewing some of the relevant studies already completed, it attempts to demonstrate the potential value of other work in this field of study. The second part examines the particular need in educational planning for an approach with a spatial base. The special function of models in such planning is then discussed before an examination is made of the possible location theories that could be used as a basis. The two major theoretical frameworks, involving (a) interaction theory and (b) central place theory are considered in more detail to see how they could be used in studies of educational systems. In order to test some of the ideas against actual conditions, a case study is carried out in part III. The spatial organisation of the educational system in the area around Bath is analysed through a type of 'systems analysis'. A spatial model of a primary/secondary school system is formulated using central place theory as its conceptual framework. This is then tested against the 'descriptive' model representing the actual situation. It is found that the suggested k = 7 hierarchical model is matched in reality but not in the form of an hexagonal lattice. In addition, some secondary schools share 'feeder' primary schools and do not operate on discrete sub-systems according to Christaller's 'administrative principle'. It is concluded that, in spite of theoretical and practical problems, the spatial model derived from central place theory provides a framework which assists educational planning.
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