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Is the admissions system working?

6 March 2015

A report on admissions and social equality has suggested that far too many admission authorities are failing to adhere to the minimum standards in the School Admissions Code 2014 and do not admit pupils who transfer mid-year where the school deems them to be undesirable.

The report claims that despite measures being introduced for schools to give priority to disadvantaged children, such measures will not close the gap in social inequality without further substantive measures being required. The report suggests that the rise in the number of admission authorities and the reduced role for local authorities has made the situation worse.

Whilst the above issues will make the headlines, the report also mentions that parental preference is the key determinant within the admissions system and social inequality may only change through parental decisions - not school decisions - as parents choose schools not vice versa. Therefore, if further changes are required to admissions, consideration should be given to improving the level of information provided to parents to allow them to make the right choices for their children.

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