Conclusions

in All in the mix

6 Conclusions A friend waiting for the decision on her son’s application to high school explained to Bridget how this was a particularly stressful time. At the same time, she hoped it was also the end of her major responsibility for his education. She’d decided on his primary school and now his high school, but the rest, she hoped, would be down to him. Navigating a path through the schooling system for one’s child is perhaps inevitably an emotional process. For the child it can be an anxious time, representing a big step: going to a much larger school; moving from being in the oldest class in the school to the youngest; often having to travel further and without parents. For a parent, it can bring up their own experiences – for good or ill – of schooling, the successes and failures of other children in the family, and often involves discussions not only with the child’s other parent but also with wider members of families and friends. These conversations can be difficult in themselves. Sharon, quoted in Chapter 3, explained how she had started to stay in her car to pick up her children from primary school, rather than get out and be drawn into conversations about schools with other parents. Discussions about school choice can be fraught because they are in some senses deeply political – concerned with questions of equity and opportunity – and are also often shaped by economic wealth (the ability to live in the ‘right’...

All in the mix

Race, class and school choice

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