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School Choice

How Parents Negotiate the New School Market in Australia

School Choice by Craig Campbell
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What's the real barbecue stopper in Australian suburbs today? It's choosing a school for our children.

Based on extensive interviews with parents,School Choice reveals their experience of the school selection process. Some are bruised or frustrated. Others feel that schools, not parents, have the real power to choose who goes to which school.

As more non-government schools open and criticism of government schools becomes common, the pressure on families increases to find the right school. This book examines the anxieties, aspirations and strategies of parents, and how schools are promoting themselves and managing the selection process.

School Choice asks why different families attempt to get their children into different kinds of schools. Who gets into selective academic schools? Why are new low-fee Christian schools becoming popular? Are parents departing from family traditions? Do coaching colleges make a difference? What does it mean when parents talk about religion and values in schooling? What strategies work and what don't?

The new school market is reshaping Australian society now and for the long term. School Choice looks behind the brochures and websites to examine what's happening to families and schools, and who are the winners and losers.

Allen & Unwin; February 2009
216 pages; ISBN 9781741765144
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Title: School Choice
Author: Craig Campbell; Helen Proctor; Geoffrey Sherington