Update on schools admissions

As we start the Autumn term, the first part of the process for changing school admission arrangements can begin.

12 October 2022

As we start the Autumn term, the first part of the process for changing school admission arrangements can begin. Any school wanting to change their arrangements for entry from 2024, whether it be in Reception, Year 7 or Year 12, will need to consult for at least six weeks between 1 October 2022 and 31 January 2023, with at least the bodies set out in the Admissions Code consulted (broadly other schools, local authorities, parents, and relevant religious bodies). A full draft of the proposed arrangements must be published and details of where comments can be sent, provided.

Whilst the process for changing admission arrangements has not changed in a few years, the Office of the Schools Adjudicator regularly comments on arrangements that have not properly been determined or consulted on. Arrangements must be consulted on at least every seven years, even if no changes have been made. Once the arrangements have been consulted on, the admissions authority (or a committee, if delegated) then needs to consider the consultation responses as part of its decision on whether the draft arrangements should be approved, which must be completed by 28 February 2023. Admission authorities that are not consulting on changes to the arrangements still need to determine the arrangements for 2024 by this date.

You don’t need to consult on the arrangements if the only change you’re making is to increase the published admission number (PAN). Note that only a relevant age group, again generally Reception, Year 7 and Year 12, will have a PAN.

As my colleague Richard covered here, 1 October also marked the introduction of a new Admission Appeals Code. The changes are relatively minimal but include welcome flexibilities to allow remote hearings to continue going forward.

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