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admissions overhaul recommended

10 January 2013

In its wide ranging report, the Academies Commission has taken a long hard look at admissions and appeals and believes significant change is required to both the admissions process and how appeals are run.

From an appeals perspective, the report recommends the Secretary of State’s involvement in handling complaints relating to academy appeals be ended, with that role passing to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO). The identification of an organisation to provide an independent appeals service is also suggested.

Like me, few within education would disagree that an overhaul is required, but perhaps they should go further and consider the introduction of grounds of appeal instead of parents having an automatic right of appeal. This would dramatically reduce the number of appeals from the 83,470 heard in 2010.

And is the LGO best placed to deal with further appeals? With the government keen for academies to free themselves from local authority control, the Schools Adjudicator may be a better fit.

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