Catchment area

Definition

The catchment area is the geographical area served by  a school. (In order to delineate it, pinpoint pupils' homes and outline the smallest area covering all of them).

Hallak, J. 1977. Planning the location of schools: an instrument of educational policy. Paris: UNESCO-IIEP.

Example of use

There  is very  little difficulty in interpreting  the objective of opening schools in such a way that all children enjoy equal opportunity of access to them.  Indeed it seems to be a basic element of all policies to reduce disparities.  Generally, though, accessibility is defined  solely in terms of  physical  accessibility.  To measure  this we would have to take into account distance, relief, communications, and  the time taken to travel between school and home, bearing  in mind available means of transport.  The problem therefore consists  in determining  the catchment areas of existing schools  in order to identify, on the one hand, the population that lies outside  these catchment areas and is therefore deprived of any education service  for reasons of physical accessibility, and, on the other hand, to estimate, inside the catchment areas  (i.e. in the areas reached by the school system) the proportion of school-age  children  actually managing to find places in the schools (Caillods, et al: 118).

Caillods, F.; Casselli, J. Ta Ngoc Châu; Porte, G. 1983. School mapping and micro-planning in education. Training materials in educational planning, administration and facilities. Paris: UNESCO-IIEP.