Schools: Admissions

House of Lords written question – answered at on 31 January 2006.

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Photo of Baroness David Baroness David Labour

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What they have done since 1997 to ensure that there are fair admission arrangements to primary and secondary schools for children of all abilities and circumstances.

Photo of Lord Adonis Lord Adonis Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Schools), Department for Education and Skills, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education and Skills) (Schools)

Since 1997 we have legislated to simplify the admissions process and to make the system fairer. This includes:

changing the law to prevent admission authorities from introducing selection by high academic ability; issuing codes of practice for admissions and admission appeals, giving clear guidance on acceptable practices to admission authorities and schools; giving local authorities and schools the right to object to the schools adjudicator about admission arrangements they think are unfair or discriminatory, and giving parents the right to object to some admission arrangements, including some forms of selection; introducing co-ordinated admissions, a system that has had a significant impact in improving parents' chances of obtaining a preferred school; setting up a mechanism for parents to decide on the removal of selection in grammar schools, and preventing the introduction of new selection by high academic ability; and ensuring that looked-after children are given top priority in school admission arrangements and encouraging local authorities to adopt protocols for the admission of hard-to-place, including vulnerable, pupils.

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