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Title: Parental choice of school
Author: Henderson, Brian
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1990
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The Education (Scotland) Act 1981 extended to parents the right to choose a school for their child subject to certain exclusions and restraints. This thesis examines such parents' decisions from the perspective of Expectancy theory. Three linked projects were carried out in Greenock and Edinburgh between 1982 and 1984. The first of these was a pilot study, which, although limited in scope and scale, clearly established the salience of the issue to parents. The second study was conducted by means of in-depth interviews with 45 parents within the catchment area of Ainslie Park High School in the North of the city of Edinburgh. For the third study, 110 parents from this, and an adjacent area were approached using a mailed questionnaire. The three studies in combination addressed the question of how parents were choosing to exercise their recently granted right. Parental choice as proposed by the Conservative government embodied certain assumptions central among which were that parents' desisions would be "informed" and of a sufficiently high quality to guide policy making at local levels. The research carried out in the three studies casts considerable doubt on this assumption. While parents' decisions could be successfully modelled using Expectancy Theory, its use was nevertheless shown to leave unanswered certain key issues within the process. The final model of parental choice proposed by the research attempts to both model and describe the process by which parents come to consider change, assess alternatives, and make their decisions. It does so using a synthesis of previously uncombined theoretical perspectives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available