Butler T, Hamnett C, 2010, "‘You take what you are given’: the limits to parental choice in education in east London" Environment and Planning A 42(10) 2431 – 2450
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‘You take what you are given’: the limits to parental choice in education in east London
Tim Butler, Chris Hamnett
Received 14 January 2010; in revised form 18 March 2010
Abstract. The paper discusses parental choice of secondary schooling drawing on a recent study of East London. It argues that the New Labour agenda of promoting choice of secondary school can, in practice, constrain choice as parents 'play safe’. The paper reviews the working of educational choice across seven boroughs in East London and then focuses on how it is working in one outer London borough. It argues that when education and housing markets are considered together it is possible to identify several of what Ball et al (1995) term ' circuits of schooling’. The paper concludes by suggesting that the 'choice agenda’ may be creating a perception of failure and a sense of resentment amongst parents who do not succeed in getting their children in all but the most popular schools.
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