From Margaret Tulloch Secretary Comprehensive Future, the campaign for fair admissions
Code on school admissions – still time to respond
on the Government’s proposed new School Admissions Code ends this Friday (19th August) – so there is still time to respond.
Comprehensive Future has now responded. The response is on our website
The Draft Code is much shorter than the last but it seems unlikely that it will result in a fairer system, unless it is amended as a result of the consultation. As more schools opt out to become academies they become their own admission authorities and their opportunity to pick and choose their intake increases. There are welcome changes in the Code – for example the extension of the right to object to the adjudicator. But concerns remain, for example the Code if implemented as proposed will allow schools to give priority to children of staff and to siblings of pupils who have left the school. This hardly seems fair.
Meanwhile monitoring of fairness in admissions could be weakened as the Education Bill, if enacted, ends the requirement on local authorities to set up admission forums to consider admission issues locally. The Bill also restricts the powers of the adjudicator to impose changes.
So unless there is very effective scrutiny and monitoring it is likely that as more schools become admission authorities covert selection and segregation will increase. Effective scrutiny becomes less likely if admission forums disappear, school adjudicator’s powers are reduced and local authorities do not use the powers they have to make sure everyone follows the rules. If this happens many parents will lose out.’