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Schools admission criteria for Adopted children - When will it change?

(57 Posts)
oinker Wed 02-May-12 19:28:43

Would someone please help me clear this up.....................

I realise schools admissions criteria are changing BUT when will it definately come into effect?

I beleived it was for children starting scool in September 2013. Is this right?
One school I spoke with seemed to think it was for children starting school in September 2014.

Any ideas?

Lilka Wed 02-May-12 20:05:37

The new admissions code starts with the September 2013 intake

Some schools are already taking it into account now, and letting children in without needing to appeal. The school you spoke with are wrong anyway, if your DC is starting in 2013, you are fine

Lilka Wed 02-May-12 20:13:16

Also, the new priority applies not only to children who left the care of the authority with an adoption order, but also to children who left the care of the authority with a residence order or a special guardianship order. Just in case anyone reading is a special guardian or child has a residence order.

oinker Wed 02-May-12 20:29:48

Thanks Lilka. grin

Am a little relieved. Can't say I'm looking forward to the battle of getting him into school. He's already been turned away by two school nurseries. sad

Oh, the joys of parenting. winkgrin

Lilka Wed 02-May-12 20:40:04

And in case anyone wonders about the other criteria

- This applies to children domestically adopted from care, under the Adoption Act 2002 (which applies to English and Welsh local authorities). Also to children leaving care by SGO's and RO's.
- Children adopted internationally and by step parents will not have priority, as the children were not in the care of Welsh/English authorities. There was an attempt to get intl adopted children included, but the government said it had 'to draw a line' somewhere hmm
- Children adopted before 30th December 2005 will not have priority, as they were not adopted under the 2002 Act. Some schools may decide to include these children as having priority, but they are not obliged to. Parents should bring this up with the school and at appeal if necessary, and the school may still allow the child in on these grounds.
- This applies to English schools only. Welsh schools therefore will still not give priority to adopted children, only to looked after children. Parents who adopted from a Welsh local authority will still get priority at English schools, as they adopted under the Act covering Wales as well
- Scotland is not covered by these Acts or changes, and the Scottish admissions criteria already makes no distinction between looked after and adopted children. The changes do not therefore apply to children adopted from Scottish authorities applying to English schools (I know, ridiculous!)

Hope that is clear. For something supposed to be a nice simple helpful change, it's bloody complicated!!

Devora Wed 02-May-12 22:39:51

That seems really unnecessarily mean to exclude internationally adopted children. Isn't the point about meeting the needs of children who are British NOW?

(Not arguing with you, Lilka - I know that you are not actually Michael Gove smile)

FamiliesShareGerms Wed 02-May-12 23:04:46

I've missed this: does it put adoptive children up the priority list for schools admissions?

Devora Thu 03-May-12 00:22:56

Yes, along with looked after children.

Kewcumber Thu 03-May-12 12:35:08

Devora - all the adoption organisations (domestic and overseas) are petitioning to change the uk/international divide. Because as you say, it doesn't make sense. I would also question the legality of it (or at the very least the ethics of it) as when we signed up to the Hague convention on adoption we committed to treat all children the same regardless of where they were born - hence the need to get a UK home study prior to adopting overseas and accessing UK post placement services (such as they are hmm) if necessary.

It smacks of political spite to me - to make clear what intercountry adopters know from experience that we (as a country) are institutionally anti-intercountry adoption. We make it as bureaucratically difficult as possible and are probably nigh on the most difficult country to adopt intercountry from.

Its also unnecessary as, practically speaking, the number of children adopted inter-country in the UK was hovering around 200 in 2008 and has most likely dropped again. So we are probably talking about 200 children across the UK each year this would apply to - by the time you've taken out those in the private sector and those who go to schools they would have got into anyway, you're talking about a drop in the ocean.

snail1973 Thu 03-May-12 13:16:08

While we are talking about this... does it mean that your adopted child has priority at schools they are in catchment for, or would it also help if you are trying for a school that you are not in catchment for?

Adoptionrulesok Thu 03-May-12 14:56:01

snail1973 My youngest son will fall into this catagory, and his SW told me that he will be priority for any school, not just in catchment area. Happy days, I was dead worried about high schools but not so much now smile

Lilka Thu 03-May-12 16:52:11

All English schools, regardless of catchment. Unless it's a grammar selecting on ability only

I think it's ridiculous, the amount of children this doesn't apply to. They lumped in internationally adopted children with step parent adoptions as one group, and then said that if they gave priority to that group they would be letting in children who had good starts in life, and that wasn't what they wanted. hmm
Plus any child adopted before Dec 2005...don't they also need this? And that's before taking into account the stupid rule that the child had to be in the care of a Welsh or English LA. Children from Scotland applying to Enlgish schools evidently don't require any consideration either hmm

Moomoomie Thu 03-May-12 16:58:09

Sorry, if this has already been answered. Does it apply to High school admission too, or just primary?

Lilka Thu 03-May-12 17:58:25

All schools in Englaand, both secondary/high or primary, as long as it is not a school which selects in ability only

Moomoomie Thu 03-May-12 18:01:55

That is good news.

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Thu 03-May-12 18:08:21

Interesting. I have a friend who adopted a child from another country and hope the law can be widened to include her daughter. Then she might go to the same school in the same year as my son. But that would be for a 2013 start at secondary. I know the school have already revised their admission criteria so I might mention it to her.

scrappydappydoo Thu 03-May-12 18:23:15

At the risk of being flamed (please don't as genuine not meant to be confrontational question)
Why do adopted children need to have priority throughout all their school years? I can see the case for maintaining stability for looked after children and for children who are older when they are adopted. But if a child is adopted at a very young age (1 or 2) is it really needed that they get priority for secondary school admissions?

*disclaimer - I know absolutely nothing about adoption

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Thu 03-May-12 18:27:41

It's just a bit of generosity to a (small) group of children who didn't get the best start in life. Competitive parent that I am I'm happy to move down one place for an adopted child smile Plus it's a small support to the family who have adopted a child.

Lilka Thu 03-May-12 18:47:19

Scrappy - A child adopted at the age of 1 or 2 is likely to have social, emotional, educational and other special needs. Being young is no barrier to suffering the effects of negelct, abuse, seperation and so on. Having a priority in admissions means parents can at least find the school that is best for the child and feel confident they will get in. I think school is one of the biggest problem areas for adopted children in general.

Of course not all children will need this. But they are, as Juggling said, a very small group of children, and it's impossible to split them down even further. There are possible problem areas even for emotionally healthy adopted children, such as ending up in the same school as close birth family members (it can happen, needs to be avoided usually, stressful if it gets to appeal stage)

annalovesmrbates Thu 03-May-12 19:06:36

I was wondering that too Scrappy! It does make sense now.

annalovesmrbates Thu 03-May-12 19:06:36

I was wondering that too Scrappy! It does make sense now.

Kewcumber Thu 03-May-12 19:12:30

also on average I would say that adopted children struggle with change more than the norm and anything that smoothes this transition to a new school for children who are often dealing with many other issues is to be welcomed.

It is recognised that adopters and adoptees need post adoption support (well kinda, in theory at least!) in other ways, having priority in school admissions is just (IMO) a tool in the adopters arsenal.

scrappydappydoo Thu 03-May-12 19:19:33

Thanks - I understand now. School admissions are such a minefield anyway so I guess if there are any complications it makes things worse!

Devora Thu 03-May-12 22:36:20

The 'we have to draw a line somewhere' line is just ludicrous. After all, this was a voluntary act by the Govt - presumably propelled by Gove's empathy with adoption. They didn't HAVE to do it for any of our children. But they did, out of recognition that adopted children are highly likely to have particular needs around schooling. Given that recognition, it should apply to all those who equally share those needs. Children who are adopted internationally clearly are just as likely to have those needs as children adopted domestically (if not more). They are a small group and legally distinct - no risk of seepage or slippery slopes that I can see. This is not a problem for me as a domestic adopter, but it makes me angry beyond words.

scrappy - it's not daft to ask, the reasons are not necessarily obvious. But yes, it's about the fact that even children adopted young are statistically at much higher risk of having a range of psychological, behavioural, social and learning difficulties. Some won't (I'm sitting here with fingers crossed that mine won't and will still be able to access the top performing school that we are just out of catchment for!) but I suppose then it is just a small gesture of support for adoptive families. Because lord knows most of us get nowt else.

Adoptionrulesok Fri 04-May-12 09:26:43

Well said Devora smile

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