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Rise in admission complaints

4 December 2012

Complaints to the schools adjudicator about admissions arrangements have risen. Key areas of complaint include a failure to give clear, timely and accurate information to parents, issues with defining school catchment areas and giving priority to siblings. Incomplete and inaccessible information on sixth form admissions and “unreasonable” refusals to admit children were also highlighted as causes for concern in the chief adjudicator’s annual report.

Every maintained school and academy must comply with the Admissions Code. Yet in a spot check of 50 schools, the admissions watchdog noted that only 14 had published admission arrangements for places in 2013. The arrangements should have been published in April.

With government focus on parental choice and the need for 450,000 more primary places over the next few years, the number of complaints and admission appeals look likely to increase if breaches of the Code continue. Furthermore, with academies having to arrange their own independent appeal panels at their own cost, compliance with the Code will be more important than ever.

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