0370 270 6000

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

28Sep

Exclusions training for senior leaders and governing boards Interactive session via Zoom

This two-hour, online interactive training session focuses on all you need to know about the exclusions framework for schools and trusts. It’s designed to help ensure schools are compliant with exclusions law and guidance as well as considering wider issues.

View event

3Oct

Safeguarding Training for Governors and Trustees Interactive session via Zoom

This two-hour safeguarding course via zoom is designed specifically for governors and trustees. It steers away from operational safeguarding matters and instead focuses on strategic safeguarding and good safeguarding governance, meeting the requirements of The Governance Handbook 2022 and Keeping Children Safe 2022.

View event

Focus on...

Published articles

Key steps to avoid falling foul of disability discrimination laws

The law around disability discrimination against pupils is not straightforward – but the reputational risk, let alone costs, of falling foul of the law are huge, so it’s worth upskilling staff whenever possible, as these two lawyers outline.

View

Employment Law – Harpur Trust v Brazel – Implications for schools webinar

On 20 July 2022, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited judgment in the case of Harpur Trust v Brazel, upholding the decision of the Court of Appeal. For those of you familiar with this case, you will know that it concerns the statutory leave requirements for part-time and part-year workers. For schools and academies whose workforce consists of a variety of types of part-time and part-year workers, this case is one that must be understood before any changes are applied. Come and join Emma Hughes, Head of HR Services as she puts questions to Ian Deakin, Employment Partner, and Sarah Linden, Senior Associate.

View

Press releases

Leading education lawyers play major role as DfE announces 10,000th academy conversion

The Department for Education (DfE) have announced that the conversion of Donisthorpe Primary School in Leicestershire on 1st September marked the 10,000th academy conversion.

View

Guides

How to carry out the KCSiE online checks FAQs

There is (understandably) some confusion about the steps schools and trusts need to take to discharge the new online check duty set out in paragraph 220 of KCSIE. I can’t completely clarify all of it for you, but I can help you find a sensible route through. These FAQs are a good place to start.

View

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.

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up