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This paper is a report of findings from a project, undertaken on behalf of the Queensland Catholic Education Commission, to explore factors influencing access to Catholic schools in Queensland for Catholic families in low socio-economic circumstances. It addresses the questions: What are the most important factors affecting the choice of school for Catholic families? How important is affordability as an issue in the school choice decision for Catholic families? The research design consisted of a two-phase, sequential, mixed-methods approach that utilised quantitative and qualitative data from surveys and interviews to answer the research questions driving the project. It would seem that all Catholic families, irrespective of income, expect much of the school environment in terms of care and concern for children and the management of school-based relationships. The most highly valued factor in school choice is teacher quality. Affordability becomes more of an issue the lower the family income is. However, it is listed by all income groups well below teacher quality, school-based relationships and religious reasons for choosing a school.


School of Education

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Open Access Journal Article

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