Over the last years, decreasing numbers of students have led to the closing of schools, especially in East Germany. According to projections by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany, this trend will most likely continue in West German territorial states (as opposed to city states) until 2025. Therefore, already existing regional discrepancies in school availability will increase further. When transitioning to secondary school, the travel distance to the facilities will increase as well.
The project deals with the question whether the distance of school routes influences the performance of students at secondary school level. An interesting factor is the influence of social background because, for example, different strategies exist for coping with the objective strain of the route to school. An answer to this question is of utmost importance for practical approaches in the field of education management or school planning, especially concerning equal opportunities for access to education.
In this project, data from Starting Cohort 3 of the National Panel Study (NEPS) will be utilized assessing academic achievements of students in math and German beginning with Grade 5. Academic achievements will be linked with the actual distance between home and school in order to close this relevant research gap.