The emergence of an educational market in the school system planning: from a regulatory supply to a regulatory demand

This paper discusses the emergence of market logics in the regulation of the educational offer and provision, through the free school choice of students and parents. Based on the results of a research project we are developing at the School Studies Centre of the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Lisbon, we were able to describe and identify differences between the rules established by the "school map" (in Portugal, students have to attend a given, determined by the place where they live) and reality. These differences seem to be the result of an evolution from a "regulatory supply" to a "regulatory demand" in the educational planning. Such differences are also good illustrations of the appearance of new areas of interdependence or competition between neighboring schools, and of how this may promote inequalities of opportunity.

"School map" (zoning); Free school choice; Educational market; Inequality of opportunity


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