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Factors Influencing School Choice

Recent research undertaken by the Independent Schools Council of Australia (ISCA) shows that Australian parents choose Independent schools based on the desire to support a well-rounded school experience for their children. The research report, Factors Influencing School Choice, reveals how a diverse and evolving range of factors are influencing Australian families in the schools they are choosing.

Top reasons parents chose an Independent school include good teachers, overall educational excellence, good facilities, and a supportive and caring environment.

The research also found that when it comes to choosing a specific school, personal interaction with the school and its community is the most persuasive influence for parents.

Technology related influences such as social media, school websites, MySchool, and NAPLAN were also seen as important for building awareness, but less so than the personal interaction factors.

Another factor examined in the report is the influence of the child, which has grown significantly. In 2006, 18% of Independent primary school parents said their child had at least some influence, by 2016 that figure had risen to 43%. It is a similar case with a child’s degree of influence in the choice of secondary school, which was 36% in 2006 and had risen to 55% in 2016. Across sectors results were similar.

Factors Influencing School Choice. ISCA Research Report 2017

Key Findings:

  • Parents have long-term goals for their children’s education – most importantly that the school will provide the foundation to grow into a mature, well-rounded person.
  • The most common reasons parents choose an Independent school include; good teachers, overall educational excellence, good facilities, and the supportive and caring environment.
  • Personal interaction with the school and its community is the most persuasive influence for parents when choosing a school.
  • Overwhelmingly parents agree that they would recommend the school at which their children are currently enrolled to family and friends.
  • 35 per cent of parents said that ‘Education policy’ influenced their vote at the 2016 Federal election.
  • Parents also nominated ‘Education’ as being the most important issue in Australia’s political landscape over the next 10 years.

 

The full report Factors Influencing School Choice. ISCA Research Report 2017 can be found at: http://isca.edu.au/publications/research/

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