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Complex admissions arrangements criticised

2 December 2013

This is now the second consecutive year that the Chief Schools Adjudicator, Elizabeth Passmore, has criticised admission authorities for having overly complex admissions arrangements that do not comply with the School Admissions Code. Every admissions authority whether it be a local authority, school or academy has to comply with the provisions of the code, which are there to ensure that school places are allocated fairly.

Ms Passmore highlights particular problems with sixth form places, selection by ability and banding yet these are just some of the areas causing concern. Admission arrangements in any school should be easy for prospective parents to understand. All admissions authorities should consider taking external advice on their own arrangements to check whether they are lawful. Any proposed changes should be consulted upon in accordance with the stipulated timeframes set out in the code. There is only approximately a month left in which to start consultation, so schools will need to start thinking about these issues.

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