Children, school choice and social differences

Diane Reay, Helen Lucey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (SciVal)


Research into school choice has focused primarily on parental perspectives. In contrast, this study directly explores children's experiences as they are going through the secondary school choice process in two inner London primary schools. While there were important commonalities in children's experience, in this paper we have concentrated on the differences. These, we argue, lay in (a) children's material and social circumstances, (b) children's individuality, and (c) the ways in which power is played out within families. However, despite both individual and family differences there remains a strong pattern of class-related orientations to choice. We also found that while the vast majority of children were actively involved in the choice process, the children's accounts highlight an important distinction between making and getting a choice. In this particular urban locale, there is less choice for black and white working-class boys than for other groups of children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-100
Number of pages18
JournalEducational Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2000


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