IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


From immediate acceptance to deferred acceptance

27 January 2022, 3:00 pm–4:00 pm

Secondary school students walking through a corridor. Photo by Phil Meech for IOE.

In this webinar, Camille Terrier will present research on how changes in school admission policies in England increased competition for top schools, crowding out poorer students.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Khrystyna Myhasiuk

Countries and cities around the world increasingly rely on centralised systems to assign students to schools. Two algorithms, deferred acceptance (DA) and immediate acceptance (IA), are widespread. The latter is often criticised for harming disadvantaged families who fail to get access to popular schools.

Camille will discuss research investigating the effect of the national ban of the IA mechanism in England in 2008. Before the ban, 49 English local authorities used DA and 16 used IA. All IA local authorities switched to DA afterwards, giving rise to a cross-market difference-in-differences research design. Results show that the elimination of IA reduces measures of school quality for low-SES students more than high-SES students.

After the ban, low-SES students attend schools with lower value-added and more disadvantaged and low-achieving peers - this effect is primarily driven by a decrease in low-SES admissions at selective schools. Findings point to an unintended consequence of the IA to DA transition: by encouraging high-SES parents to report their preferences truthfully, DA increases competition for top schools, which crowds out low-SES students.

This event will be particularly useful for those interested in education policy, school admissions and achievement.

Related links

About the Speaker

Camille Terrier

Assistant Professor and Research Associate at University of Lausanne and Centre for Economic Performance (CEP), LSE

Her work in economics of education spans topics from school admission policies to charter schools in the US and University Technical Colleges in England.