Where schools admit external applicants into their sixth form, it is lawful for them to set minimum academic standards for entry. The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 as amended also permits schools to remove pupils from the admission register who are above compulsory school age, if they do not meet the academic entry standards for the sixth form. The regulations do not permit their removal from the register for failure to maintain high academic attainment once they have entered the sixth form.
The Department’s statutory guidance: ‘Exclusion from maintained schools, Academies and pupil referral units in England’ explicitly states that, once a pupil is enrolled, it is unlawful to exclude for a non-disciplinary reason such as academic attainment or ability.
We expect all schools to adhere to these rules and we have recently written to them to remind them of their responsibilities.