Document: DfE response to the consultation on changes to the Admissions Framework

A document that those following education should be watching. From the DfE site:

“Subject to the views of Parliament, these Codes will come into force on 1 February 2012, affecting the 2013/14 admissions intake. 

“Key proposals include:

  • giving adopted children who were previously in care the same, highest priority for places as looked-after children;
  • introducing a ‘national offer day’ for primary places, mirroring that for secondary offers;
  • giving greater freedom to schools to increase the number of places they are able to offer to parents;
  • allowing schools to prioritise the children of staff employed there for two or more years, or who will meet a skills shortage;
  • allowing infant classes to exceed the statutory limit where the 31st child is a twin or from multiple births, or of armed forces personnel;
  • allowing academies to prioritise disadvantaged children who are eligible for the Pupil Premium; and
  • allowing schools to take direct applications from parents to help reduce delays in finding a school place once term starts.”

Note the particular phrasing of the proposals, which has a particular ‘spin’ (“greater freedom”). The response in full, along with the admissions code, is available at the bottom of that page in various formats.

The changes will now be debated following an Early Day Motion (EDM) by Labour MPs. Fiona Millar argues that the changes would mean:

“You can’t complain about a school expanding ( expect to see more selection via this route) and you can’t complain about free schools and academies that have been given the right ( in their Funding Agreements) to exempt themselves from compliance with the Code. This makes the original claim that all free schools and academies would have to abide by the Admissions Code seem hollow.  Moreover these restrictions did not appear in the consultation on the Code as I have explained in this article.”

If you have any factual observations, useful links or other context on the consultation, please comment.

About Paul Bradshaw

Founder of Help Me Investigate. I'm a visiting professor at City University London's School of Journalism, and run an MA in Online Journalism at Birmingham City University. I publish the Online Journalism Blog, and am the co-author of the Online Journalism Handbook and Magazine Editing (3rd edition). I have a particular interest in Freedom of Information and data journalism.
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