On the day that the new Admissions Code is published, we have been contacted by a concerned local resident, who wanted to alert us to the interesting admissions criteria of this Academy school
. This seems to me a very good, if impenetrable, example of how local autonomous state schools can use their freedoms when it comes to choosing which pupils to admit.
One good test of how fair a schools admissions are, is whether local parents can judge whether they have a reasonable chance of getting their child into that school. The reverse must be true in this case. Moreover it is quite hard to see how anyone could objectively monitor whether such a complicated process is carried out fairly. The school is clearly successful and popular, but I wonder how much that is to do with the way it uses its freedom on admissions?
I believe there are many more schools that operate similar byzantine, convoluted criteria to their advantage. All of which are acceptable under the existing admissions code and seem likely to be encouraged by the draft that is being published today. This is one reason why we need a new approach to school admissions, with proper local and national scrutiny of what individual schools do.