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ERIC Number: ED592415
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Sep
Pages: 54
Abstractor: ERIC
Parent Power 2018: How Parents Use Financial and Cultural Resources to Boost Their Children's Chances of Success
Montacute, Rebecca; Cullinane, Carl
Sutton Trust
Parents from all backgrounds and walks of life want to do the best for their children. Unfortunately, for many reasons, this is easier for some more than others. Those with more money, education and confidence are more able to give their children the best possible chance of succeeding in the educational system and beyond. This is a key challenge for social mobility, and the focus of this new report. This report shows how financial and cultural resources can influence a child's path through education. From choosing the best school to attend, buying homes in the catchment areas of good schools, using private tuition, paying for expensive out of school extracurricular activities, and providing support with their post-18 educational choices, we see how middle class and professional parents gain an advantage for their children at every stage. It is of course natural that parents want the absolute best for their children. But the problem lies in the vastly unequal resources available to families in achieving that goal. The original "Parent Power?" report in 2013, authored by Professors Becky Francis and Merryn Hutchings, was a landmark piece of work demonstrating how social class background influences parents' ability to support their children in their schooling. Many of the same patterns are clear, but we also see new challenges in the form of the rising 'hidden' costs of state education. Schools are increasingly reliant on extra financial contributions from parents, and parents feel under more pressure to prevent their children losing out. This has worrying consequences for equal opportunities in the school system. From access to the best state and independent schools, to private tuition, academic support and advice, to extracurricular activities and cultural visits, children born into better-off homes get opportunities that many children could only dream of. If we are to tackle social mobility, it is key that these unequal opportunities are recognised and confronted. This report shows there are many practical measures that can be taken to level the educational playing field: from fairer school admissions, to additional supports in school for those who need them most, to engaging with parents of all backgrounds to support them in getting the best for their child.
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Publication Type: Reports - Research; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Sutton Trust (England)