Beyond 'live enrolment': Student mobility and local management of schooling in Catalonia

Sílvia Carrasco, Jordi Pàmies, Ábel Bereményi, Vicenç Casalta

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6 Citations (Scopus)


The increase in student mobility in pre-university education, and especially within compulsory education, has been regarded as one of the most challenging problems in the last decade in Spain. Processes to incorporate students in mobility programmes and the management of their mobility are viewed and addressed differently by regional and local administrations as well as by schools. In this context, the expression "live enrolment" -meaning year-round enrolment- has been coined to define and label not only this type of mobility, but also the students who move. Therefore, mobility is not usually conceptualized as a process structurally linked to current social and economic dynamics, ongoing changes in the productive structure and the labour market, or residential factors related or not to the former processes, but rather as a problem essentially tied to international migrations and the local management of such migrations. This paper presents the partial results of a project carried out in the province of Barcelona focussing on the scope and dynamics of student mobility, families' motivations and strategies, and conditions of schooling from the viewpoint of local management. A comparative analysis based on available data, interviews with key agents at different levels of the local and regional administration, as well as meetings with teachers and families involved in the mobility process have allowed us to reconstruct a variety of underlying dimensions of student mobility, while highlighting the complexity of this phenomenon. The findings of this study, which is the first one on this issue in Spain, led to the conclusion that student mobility is largely the result of diverse adaptive strategies that also include Spanish families. Moreover, clear differences and limits were found regarding local responses by the education authorities, thus pointing to the need to analyse this issue within the debates on education rights.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-341
JournalPapers: Revista de Sociologia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Family strategy
  • Local administration
  • Right to education


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