First published in 1997, this study examines the trend towards markets in UK schools, with a particular focus on fee-paying schools in South Wales, by outlining the varied economic and political arguments both for and against increased parental choice and exploring parents’ real reasons for using fee-paying schools. Stephen Gorard destroys the cosy myth that fee-paying schools are large, successful, charitable institutions catering chiefly for a select group of privileged families. Instead, he reveals them as typically privately owned, coeducational and with fewer than a hundred pupils, based in a poorly-converted residential site with few facilities. It is the first book which allows children’s voices to be heard fully in the context of debates on the choice of a new school. Gorard has gathered the voices of parents and children via observation, interview and survey, comparing them directly and revealing stark differences in the perception of each generation.