MADRID topped Spain in student separation levels with wealthy and less well off children studying in different schools, according to a university study.
The city also had one of the highest levels of segregation between rich and poorer pupils in Europe, coming ahead of Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Around 40 per cent of wealthy students shared classes with those from the same social and economic background. In the case of poorer students, the figure was 45 per cent.
The study was done by the Autonomous University and is based on data taken from the international education body PISA’s latest reports. Its authors said figures showed Madrid’s schools were becoming increasingly elitist.
The study stated possible reasons for the levels of separation between wealthy and less well off children, which included Madrid’s commitment to private education. The city has the has levels of private enrolment in the country.
The system of free choice for schools, which has led to centres increasingly competing with each other for students, was also a factor.
Schools that teach in two or more languages also tended to draw students whose families are wealthier, according to the study.