School Admissions Code

November 4th, 2014

The School Admissions Code 2014 revises and replaces the existing School Admissions Code 2012.  The School Admissions (Admission Arrangements and Co-ordination of Admission Arrangements) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, SI 2014/2886, pursuant to s84(1) of SSFA 1998 (“the Regulations”) amend the School Admissions (Admission Arrangements and Co-ordination of Admission Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2012 to give effect to certain provisions of the revised Code.

The majority of changes come into force immediately.  The amendments to the admissions timetable will be phased in from September 2015.

The Code introduces specific, limited changes to the 2012 Code.  The two main changes allow all state-funded schools to give priority in their admission arrangements to children eligible for pupil premium or service premium funding; and admission authorities of primary schools to give priority in their admission arrangements to children eligible for the early years pupil premium, pupil premium or service premium who attend a nursery which is established and run by the school.

There will be no requirement for admission authorities to include these priorities in their admission arrangements, but they would have the freedom to do so if they wished.  Any admission authority wishing to change its arrangements to introduce such a priority would be required to consult parents and others.

There are also minor changes to amend the timetable by which admission arrangements must be consulted upon, determined and published by admission authorities, and for resolving disputes regarding the lawfulness of admission arrangements through objections to the Independent Schools Adjudicator; and to clarify the provisions relating to the admission of summer born children who wish to delay entry into reception.

Guidance is promised (or threatened) on how admission authorities might implement in practice some of the optional changes.

James Goudie QC

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