Primary Education: Admissions

Department for Education written question – answered on 5th September 2019.

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Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 21 June 2019 to Question 263684, what assessment his Department has made of the overall compliance of schools in England with equalities law and the schools admission code in their admittance and treatment of children with SEND.

Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 21 June 2019 to Question 263684, what assessment his Department has made of the merits of the reported practice of parents and reviewing bodies of schools seeking to avoid compliance with equalities law and the schools admission code in their admittance and treatment of children with SEND.

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The admission authorities of all mainstream state-funded schools must comply with the School Admissions Code and with equalities law when determining and applying their admission arrangements.

The Admissions Code includes provisions relating to the admission of children with special educational needs and disabilities, both in relation to those children who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and those who do not. Where a child has an EHCP that names a particular mainstream or special school, the school has a legal duty to admit that child.

If anyone considers that a school’s admission arrangements are not lawful they may object to the Schools Adjudicator, whose decisions are binding and enforceable. The parents of any child refused admission to a mainstream school also has the right of appeal to an independent appeals panel.

Any parent who feels their admission appeal was not carried out properly can complain to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (for maintained schools) or the Education, Skills and Funding Agency (for academies).

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