Changes to schools admissions procedures could make the system less fair, according to the Advisory Centre for Education
. This charity (ACE)
provides independent advice and help for parents in areas like admissions, exclusions and special needs so haas a great deal of experience in the real problems parents can face. It believes that a simplied Code of Practice on Admissions, which the government is promising, will make it easier for schools to cherry pick the students who are easiest to teach.
On this site we have been warning for some time that reduced powers for the Schools Adjudicator, a slimmed down Code and less local scrutiny will not help the most disadvantaged. The new procedures will be complicated by the fact that for free schools and academies, compliance with the Code of Practice can only be enforced by the Secretary of State, which means parents in those schools have little local redress if they feel their neighbourhood schoools are behaving unfairly. Michael Gove wants every school in the country to become independent, but the idea that he will be able to personally step in and sort out this sort of injustice is laughable. Schools will be able to get away with a range of unfair practices and no one will be able to do anything about it.