It is widely assumed that as a result of school choice, Welsh-medium schools in south-east Wales largely cater for students from privileged, middle-class backgrounds. The main aim of this article is to examine whether evidence supports this assumption. While it is difficult to determine whether Welsh-medium schools are elite educational institutions or not, it is evident based on data on free school meals (an indicator of household poverty) ratios of schools, that Welsh-medium schools have on average lower proportion of students from the poorest households compared to English-medium schools in south-east Wales. This article also aims to explain how the context (the circumstances in which decisions are made) and process (how decisions are made) of school choice contribute towards the trends with regards to the social composition of Welsh-medium and English-medium schools in south-east Wales. This article argues that by drawing on both Rational Choice Theory and Bourdieu's Cultural Reproduction Theory (two theoretical frameworks that have been influential on school choice research), researchers will be able to gain a better understanding of the process underlying choice of medium of education.
How to Cite:
Jones S. L., (2017) “What Do We Know and Not Know about Choice of Medium of Education in South-East Wales?”, Wales Journal of Education 19(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.16922/wje.19.2.8