Parents to get greater say in the school admissions process

New rules will also stop complaints against faith schools from secularist campaign groups

The government will sweep away admissions bureaucracy and ensure parents have more of a say in the school admissions process so they can be confident the system works for them, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan announced today (25 January 2016).

The school admissions code is now simpler and easier for parents to understand than ever before. Under new plans the government wants to ensure every child has access to the good school place their parents rightly expect and is taking further action to simplify the school admission system and ensure it works for parents by:

  • unclogging the admissions system by stopping objections to a school or local authority’s admissions arrangements from outside the local area – this means only local parents will have a say on admissions and helps local authorities to ensure they are fair
  • stopping vexatious complaints against faith schools from secularist campaign groups
  • giving parents and communities a greater voice in local admissions by requiring admissions authorities to consult on their admission arrangements every 4 years rather than the current 7

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said:

As part of our mission to deliver educational excellence everywhere, we want every child to have the opportunity to go to a good local school by making it easier for parents to have a say in their local school’s admission process.

So that parents can be confident that the school admission process is working for them – we are ensuring only local parents and councils can object to admission arrangements, which will also put a stop to vexatious complaints against faith schools by secularist campaign groups. At the same time we will be giving parents a greater voice by requiring admission authorities to consult every 4 years.

Despite rising pupil numbers, 95% of parents received an offer at 1 of their top 3 preferred schools last year. Local authorities are responsible for making sure that there are enough places in local areas, and the government will consider intervening where local authorities are not playing their part in ensuring these places are available.

Nicky Morgan added:

Our manifesto commitment to create 500 new free schools will significantly broaden the choice available to local parents, and improve the supply of good quality places.

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