First published in 1997, this study examines the trend towards markets in UK schools, with a particular focus on fee-paying schools in South Wales, by outlining the varied economic and political arguments both for and against increased parental choice and exploring parents’ real reasons for using fee-paying schools. Stephen Gorard destroys the cosy myth that fee-paying schools are large, successful, charitable institutions catering chiefly for a select group of privileged families. Instead, he reveals them as typically privately owned, coeducational and with fewer than a hundred pupils, based in a poorly-converted residential site with few facilities. It is the first book which allows children’s voices to be heard fully in the context of debates on the choice of a new school. Gorard has gathered the voices of parents and children via observation, interview and survey, comparing them directly and revealing stark differences in the perception of each generation.
Part 1. Introducing the Research. 1. Markets in Education. 2. The Prevailing Evidence. 3. The Need for a Fresh Approach. 4. The Sampling Frame. Part 2. Researching the Established Market. 5. Outline Methodology. 6. The Schools and their Users. 7. The Choice Criteria. Part 3. The Process of Choice. 8. Family Influences on Choice. 9. The Three Step Model. 10. What are they Paying For? Part 4. Whither Market Forces in Education? 11. Conclusions and Implications.
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