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Secondary school prospectuses and educational markets

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/03/1998
<mark>Journal</mark>Cambridge Journal of Education
Issue number1
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)21-35
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This study examines the 1996 prospectuses of 59 of the 100 secondary schools whose 1991 prospectuses were reviewed in a previous paper (Knight, 1992). The intention is to consider the ways in which schools present themselves in the educational market‐place. It is shown that they take the business of marketing through prospectuses seriously, evidence being the more professional appearance that these brochures now have. While other changes are also noticed, the argument is that prospectuses tend to depict schools of all types in similar ways. An explanation for this is offered, drawing upon marketing and on game theories. On this analysis, beliefs that changes in educational policy will lead to increasing differentiation of provision is, at least in terms of image‐making, exaggerated. More striking than the evidence of diversity is the evidence that schools are busily managing their images in much the same ways.