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Choosing a school: parental decision-making when special schools are an option


Mann, G and Cuskelly, M and Moni, K, Choosing a school: parental decision-making when special schools are an option, Disability & Society, 30, (9) pp. 1413-1427. ISSN 0968-7599 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Taylor & Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/09687599.2015.1108182


Parental rights to choose a school are widely acknowledged. School choices for parents of children with disability have been discussed in the academic literature; however, the decision-making process itself is largely hidden. It is vital to understand parental decision-making around school choice more deeply, given the high regard with which this is viewed. Six focus groups were held in Queensland, Australia in 2013 to explore parental decision-making. Data were collected from 30 parents with children of different ages, some of whom were eligible for special school enrolment. Most parents felt constrained in choosing a school yet eager to make decisions themselves. Most described the process as rational. Findings suggest that when special school was an option, decision-making felt more restricted and complex. Factors such as difficulty accessing reliable information and pressure from professionals added to the complexity. It was concluded that final school selection did not reliably reflect parental preferences.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:disability, school choice, parental views, intellectual disability, inclusive education
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Specialist studies in education
Research Field:Special education and disability
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Inclusive education
UTAS Author:Cuskelly, M (Professor Monica Cuskelly)
ID Code:111456
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:17
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2016-09-14
Last Modified:2017-12-14

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