The educational achievement of parents is often reflected in that of their children. The reasons for this general correlation are varied: some, such as genetics, are beyond immediate policy intervention. Others, such as income and parenting are more appropriate as sites of government policy in action, but debate rages as to the extent to which policy has a causal role or even a place in such matters.
This book takes the view that policy mechanisms are an essential part of overturning the persistence of social class differences and barriers to equality of opportunity. Although each child should be supported to achieve their potential, differences in the willingness or ability of different families to take advantage of educational opportunities can exacerbate social class differences and derail equality of opportunity for many.
The focus here is on the education of parents, but this requires consideration of many other aspects of the family environment. The family is contextualised within wider, external influences and in relation to other factors in a child’s education such as school policies. The book also considers the implications for education and social policy on a wider scale.