The Great School Lottery is taking place in the United Kingdom and for the first time students will be placed in secondary schools based on a lottery system. It is estimated between 550,000 to 600,000 students are now discovering if they will be able to attend the school of their choosing. As a result of the National Offer Day, thousands will either receive the desired letter or will receive a letter informing them of placement in the second or third choice. Schools Secretary Ed Balls, insists, “the good news is that the majority of children and parents get into their first-choice school,” but statistically 82% of children will be placed in their first choice school and 94% will be enrolled in of their top three preferences.
The concept of randomly selecting students for placement in schools is an interesting experiment which is undoubtedly predicated on the assumption it really doesn’t make much difference who enters which school. One can only wonder if this great experiment will one day be extended to entrance into Oxford and Cambridge?