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Making working-class parents think more like middle-class parents: Choice Advisers in English education

Exley, Sonia (2013) Making working-class parents think more like middle-class parents: Choice Advisers in English education. Journal of Education Policy, 28 (1). pp. 77-94. ISSN 0268-0939

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Identification Number: 10.1080/02680939.2012.689012


In this paper, one policy response to the problem of classed school choice experiences in England is examined. ‘Choice Advisers’ are employed by government to provide advice and information to working class and disadvantaged parents with the aim of ‘empowering’ them to exercise school choice and aspire to ‘better’ schools for their children. However, Advisers have been subjectified by contradictions inherent in policy, expected to solve the problems of school choice in a context of significant structural limits to choice for working-class parents. Interviews with Choice Advisers show that difficulties of the job in addition to insecure working conditions within local authorities have led to depoliticised, contradictory advice and Advisers bearing the brunt of policy both in terms of overwork and the venting of parental frustrations. Agency, both for parents and for Advisers themselves, is described as being something possessed by individuals rather than collectives, so there is little sense overall that underlying inequalities within the education system might be challenged.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 Taylor and Francis
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2012 10:26
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 01:52

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