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admissions code consultation

24 August 2020

The Department for Education (DfE) is currently consulting on a draft version of the School Admissions Code. The consultation is about specific elements of the Code and the DfE have been explicit that they are not seeking wider views on potential improvements to the Code (of which there are many). Key changes include introducing a section on in-year admissions, clarifications around fair access protocol (FAP) admissions and introducing a definition of children with challenging behaviour.

The new in-year provisions seek to enable greater clarity to parents on how in-year admissions work which will require admission authorities to set out how parents can apply for a place. The proposals on in-year admissions include:

  • Requiring admission authorities to inform LAs by 1st August each year whether they will be part of the LAs in-year admission co-ordination (where offered) or whether they will be managing its own in-year admissions. If an admissions authority is managing its own admissions then it will need to provide all the information required to do this including application forms and key contacts in the admissions authority for parents.
  • There will be a greater role for LAs in-collating information for all the schools in their area relating to in-year admissions.
  • By 31st August each year each admissions authority will have to publish information on its website about how parents can apply for an in-year place, including providing a suitable application form and the timeframes for when parents will be notified of the outcome. If part of the LA’s co-ordinated scheme, the admissions authority would need to provide information on this.

There are some changes to FAP provisions to explain that the FAP should only be used for children where ‘reasonable measures’ have been taken to secure a place through in-year admissions processes. The clarification is designed to ensure that not all children who fall into one of the groups identified in the FAP are automatically put through the FAP when an in-year place could be obtained. The draft Code introduces a definition of ‘children with challenging behaviour’, which seeks to aid clarity for all concerned, although is in reality a very wide definition.

There are also other more minor drafting changes to the Code proposed that include making it even more explicit that the published admission number only relates to the ‘relevant year of entry’ and not to other year groups, additions to the definition of looked after (and previously looked after) children and clarifications to some elements of paragraph 1.9 of the Code which sets out factors that cannot be considered by an admissions authority in their arrangements.

The consultation closes on 16 October 2020, with a final new Code likely to be published in December 2020. You can access the consultation and draft Code here.

training and events

12Mar

ASCL Annual Conference Online

Come and meet the team at ASCL’s annual conference.

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24Mar

Optimus MAT Summit Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel, The NEC Birmingham, Pendigo Way, Birmingham, B40 1PP

Come and meet the team at Optimus’ annual conference.

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focus on...

Legal updates

World Mental Health Day - 10 October 2020

With World Mental Health Day coming up tomorrow, and with the backdrop of COVID-19 dominating most of our thoughts and everyday lives, now is a great opportunity to start thinking about going the extra mile to support the wellbeing of your staff and pupils.

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Effective Board and Members meetings; Covid-19 and beyond

View our on-demand video where Education Partners Nick MacKenzie and Dominic Swift discuss the approach to members and board meetings in the ‘new normal’ considering the benefits of virtual meetings and discuss how in the longer-term, boards might combine virtual and in-person meetings to be more effective.

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Guides

Executive pay setting in school trusts

For many years now the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) have written to academy Chairs asking for justification and rationale on executive pay. School trusts have reached out to us for advice to help them meet their obligations within the Academies Financial Handbook.

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150th Anniversary of State Education – Lessons Learned: reflections of 12 former Secretaries of State

Our on-demand video was hosted by the BBC’s Education Correspondent Branwen Jefferys with special guests including Baroness Nicky Morgan, Kenneth Clarke QC, Michael Gove, Justine Greening and Lord David Blunkett discussing past successes of education, the unintended consequences of past policy, and to envision what still remains to be done.

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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