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Failing admissions system

25 February 2014

News that 245 complaints have been made to the Education Funding Agency (EFA) regarding maladministration by Appeals Panels for academies comes as no surprise. Not because academies are particularly prone to getting it wrong, but because the admission appeals system doesn’t serve parents or schools/academies well.

An automatic right of appeal, regardless of merit, means in excess of 80,000 appeals are lodged each year. Appeals Panels consist of those willing to give up their time and are supported by a pool of clerks that may well be too shallow to handle demand. Couple that with the tight timeframe to hear the appeals and it is perhaps little surprise that errors are made and complaints to the EFA follow.

Perhaps now is a good time for us to consider whether the admission appeals process – and perhaps the whole admissions system – is due for review. I doubt it would hurt.

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