Official warnings about the admissions system
Chief schools adjudicator Shan Scott identified a number of problems with England’s school admissions system in her first annual report, published in January: Admissions were not being “adequately” scrutinised in some areas of the country and some councils did not know whether arrangements were lawful; more than 60 per cent of queries about admission arrangements were raised by just seven councils. Many local authorities had wide-ranging concerns about their capacity to check that the growing number of academies were complying with admission rules.
The interests of vulnerable children needing a school place during an academic year “may not always be fully served”, as some schools “seem to be less willing” to admit them. Admission arrangements for some multi-academy trusts (MATS) were not always clearly set out; there was concern about MATS naming their primaries as feeder schools, even when they were further away than other schools.
Faith schools that gave priority to children for attending a place of worship sometimes failed to be clear about how often a person attended and for how long. In other cases, there were discrepancies between what was said in the arrangements and what was stated on the supplementary information form.