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The role of parents in their children's education is an issue of critical importance. Many of the changes currently underway in British schools have been justified on the grounds that they provide "what parents want". But what do parents really want? And how have they reacted to the changes already introduced in the UK, such as increased parental choice, the National Curriculum, and standardized assessment? Parents and Their Children's Schools is the first book to tackle this important issue in depth and will be important reading for all those involved in education. It presents the findings of a unique research study which looked directly at these questions. The study followed 150 children through Key Stage One (5-7 years) of the National Curriculum, culminating in the first standardized assessments of 7 year olds ever to take place in the UK. The book presents the views of their parents and teachers, obtained through regular in-depth interviews at crucial stages during this period. As such, it provides important insights into the changes currently underway in schools and their effects on parents.
In a broader context, it makes a major contribution to our understanding of the fundamental relationship between parents and schools.
Martin Hughes is Reader in Education at the University of Exeter. Felicity Wikeley and Tricia Nash are both researchers in the Department of Education at the University of Exeter.