AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

Primary to post-primary: Issues in school choice

by Philip Lachlan Munro

Institution: University of Otago
Year: 0
Record ID: 1310511
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10523/5093


This thesis examines the process of choosing a secondary school. Through the use of online surveys, the opinions of parents and students are explored. Along with the views of parents and students, principals are surveyed in order to examine their thoughts on the promotion and marketing of secondary schools. How do principals define marketing? What do they promote and where? What do they believe parents and students look for in a school? Parents and students were asked what they consider important factors to be in deciding on the school of choice, where information is sourced, and the perceived effectiveness of the information. The results of the principals’ survey have been compared with the parents and students. Principals tend to market aspects of their school that they believe that parents and students would look for. Although only one-third of surveyed principals have received specific training in marketing, principals are addressing common areas for both parents and students—the school curriculum, relationships between staff and pupils, and extra-curricular activities, with the latter being of more importance to students than to parents. School marketing activities are focused more on the perceived needs of the parent than the student, despite the study finding that the decision is a joint one in close to half of the participating families. Students are satisfied with the level of input they have into the decision-making process—they are not seeking to have more say. The majority of parents reported that they are satisfied they have the information required to make an informed decision as to which secondary school would be best for their child. Both parents and students were generally satisfied with the information found in school prospectuses and obtained at school open days.