This volume looks at the social and intellectual forces which the child encounters in class-room and playground from the parent’s point of view. School and home are seen as the separate yet overlapping worlds of childhood – for some children more uncompromisingly separated than for others. In the social development of the child, school functions as a link between the kinds of demands (and immunities) which are characteristic of family life, and those which the child will discover in the wider society of adulthood. The authors provide a meeting-point for developmental psychology, sociology and education, to the illumination of all three. There is a concern with the daily life of ‘ordinary’children in ‘ordinary’ families. School reluctance – rather than the more clinical school phobia or truancy – is delicately probed. The back-up that parents provide at home, directly or indirectly, is objectively evaluated, yet with empathy for parents’ and teachers’ anxieties about their roles.