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Free Schools

Department for Education written question – answered on 3rd November 2014.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment (a) her Department and (b) Ofsted have made of the consistency with which free schools are operating in accordance with the School Admissions Code.

Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate her Department has made of the number of free schools which do not operate in accordance with the School Admissions Code.

Photo of Edward Timpson Edward Timpson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Ofsted has no role in overseeing admissions. It is for the free school trust to ensure that its admission arrangements comply fully with the Admissions Code.

My Rt hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education can agree different arrangements (‘derogations’ from the Code) for individual academies and free schools, but only in limited circumstances, and where there is demonstrable evidence that it would benefit local children. 54 free schools and three academies have specified derogations.

Anyone can object to the Schools Adjudicator if they have concerns about admission arrangements. The Schools Adjudicator will consider all objections to the admission arrangements of all state-funded schools, including mainstream free schools. Her decision is binding.

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