The physical location of Cornwall, England impacts upon its social and economic development and is evident in the aspirations ascribed to and held by young people within the region. Schools have been set the task of raising aspirations, as low expectations are perceived to be a barrier to high attainment in schooling. We draw upon research in two Cornish secondary schools that attempted to raise aspirations through school change and by entering into the Academy schools programme. What we found was that their location was generally perceived as a disadvantage to aspiration. We suggest that within the current climate of localisation in educational policy it will be difficult for individual schools to scrutinise themselves and their practices. It will be difficult to ensure that they do not perpetuate poor social outcomes through entrenched beliefs about a link between physical isolation and social disadvantage.

Publication Date


Publication Title

Social and Public Policy Review

Organisational Unit

Institute of Education