Family migration: the role of children and education in family migration decision-making

Ryan, Louise and Sales, Rosemary A. (2012) Family migration: the role of children and education in family migration decision-making. International Migration, 51 (2) . pp. 90-103. ISSN 0020-7985 [Article] (doi:10.1111/j.1468-2435.2010.00652.x)


Poland’s accession to the European Union in May 2004 brought many new possibilities and opportunities for Polish migrants to the United Kingdom. However, the focus on individual migrants has underestimated the complex roles of families in migration strategies and decision making. This paper brings together data from two studies of Polish migrants in London. In 2006–2007, we carried out a qualitative study, Recent Polish Migrants in London. That research examined how families may be reconfigured in different ways through migration, for example, transnational networks and splits within families. While the study participants represented varied examples of family reunification, they also revealed the complex decision making processes about leaving, staying, rejoining and returning. In our most recent study, Polish Children in London Primary Schools, we interviewed parents, who had migrated with children, about their experiences and expectations of London schools. This study revealed that the age of children was usually a factor in family migration decision making. There was a common expectation that younger children could easily adapt to a new school and learn English quickly. Drawing on the findings of these two studies, this paper will explore firstly, the variety of family migration strategies and secondly, the factors that inform migrants’ decisions to bring their families (especially children) or to leave them back home. Finally, the paper concludes by considering some of the policy implications of our findings.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Article first published online: 19 JAN 2011
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Social Policy Research Centre
Item ID: 14555
Depositing User: Louise Ryan
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2015 12:29
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2017 15:23

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.