This highly topical monograph focuses on how children in their first year of high school feel about school, its place in their lives and its role in their futures.
The theoretical context of the study is the focus in educational studies on children's voice and children's active role in education, together with the focus in the sociology of childhood on children as active constructors of their lives and childhood as a subject of serious study.
The importance of young people's life plans and the alignment between education and ambitions was recognised in the Sloan Foundation study of American teenagers.
In many Western societies there is concern that children from less advantaged social backgrounds have limited aspirations, and are disproportionately unlikely to go to university.
This book is highly relevant to understanding the nature of children's engagement with education, the choices and constraints they experience and the reasons some young people fail to take advantage of educational opportunities.