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Cheating the admissions system

20 December 2013

Research by the Sutton Trust has highlighted the lengths some parents will go to in order to secure a place at the school of their choice.

It comes as no surprise that parents are stretching the admissions process as much as possible to ensure their child gets into the best school. This negatively impacts upon all schools’ attempts to improve social mobility.

The cause? Perhaps the admissions process is not fit for purpose. As well as hampering social mobility and potentially favouring those with the resources to fully exploit the system, the appeals process offers an unfettered right of appeal that over 80,000 parents exercised in 2011-12 alone. This appeals process offers no consistency between schools and forces schools and local authorities to divert significant resources – senior staff and budget – to arrange and attend the appeals.

This report is perhaps further evidence that a complete overhaul of the admissions and appeals process is required.

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