All state-funded schools must comply with the School Admissions Code. The Code requires that the criteria which are used to decide the allocation of school places must be ‘fair, clear and objective’. Parents should be able to look at a set of arrangements and understand easily how places for that school will be allocated.
The Code also requires all schools to publish their admission arrangements significantly in advance of parents applying for a place. Ministers permit specific derogations from compliance with the Code within the funding agreements of free schools and academies where to do so would support fairness.