27 October 2009: Dr Joy Kennedy, senior education lecturer at Australian Catholic University's (ACU) Brisbane Campus (McAuley at Banyo), is set to discover the factors which determine a parents' choice of school for their children.
The research was commissioned after the Queensland Catholic Education Commission (QCEC) discovered only one third of Catholic low-income earners are currently sending their children to Catholic schools. Researchers hope to gain a better understanding of both parents' and students' needs when it comes to schooling, and will offer recommendations to improve Catholic education in Queensland.
Photo: (From left) Research Officers, Chris Rosentreter, Toowoomba Diocese Research Officer; John Kennedy, Rockhampton Diocese Research Officer; Dr Joy Kennedy, Project leader; Eileen Lande, Cairns Diocese Research Officer; Therese Nolan, Brisbane Diocese Research Officer.
"Our initial research showed a significant change in the nature of students attending Catholic schools in Queensland in recent times, said Dr Kennedy. Therefore, our current research hopes to identify the predominant factors which influence a parents' choice of school for their children."
Dr Kennedy said research will soon begin across Queensland in Catholic schools, parishes and public areas such as shopping centres. The survey asks participants to rate the importance of various reasons why they would choose a certain school, including location, subjects on offer, friendship groups, fees, reputation and facilities.
"We are interested in surveying parents who are in the process of choosing a school for their children, particularly parents of students in year 7 and pre-school aged children, she said. The research will involve a mixed-method approach to data collection, with the use of quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews."
If you have any questions relating to the survey please contact the research officer, Therese Nolan on 07 3623 7152.
The research project is due for completion in March 2010 and is jointly commissioned by QCEC and the Bishops of Queensland. The research team also includes Associate Professor Judith Mulholland and Associate Professor Jeffery Dorman.
The recent audit report by the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) noted the evident commitment, loyalty and dedication of staff at ACU. It also found that the University rates higher than the sector average for graduate full-time work, and stands out for its success with Indigenous students.