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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?

snail1973 Fri 04-May-12 11:42:25

Yes I for one will not feel too guilty at one bit of support from the government, since I lost out on both proper maternity pay because adoption pay was not equivalent AND on child benenfit as the govt have decided not to back date this for more than 3 months. We had DS for 10 months before the adoption was finalised and I got his new birth certificate through, but was only able to claim child benefit for the last 3 of those months. Grrrr

mossity Fri 04-May-12 13:23:18

do u think i have any chance of using this in my favour now?? My dd is due at school in sept and we got offered what was originally our first choice but now for reasons i cant really go into she can NOT go there! Its not a case of we dont wnt her to go there as its one of the top preforming primary schools in the whole country its a case of CANT! We are on a waitin glist for 2 other schools (2nd and 8th place) but trying to put together an appeal. Help!!!

scrappydappydoo Fri 04-May-12 14:07:42

Mossity - try posting over in education or primary education - some experts lurk on there who will be able to give you advice.

Lilka Fri 04-May-12 21:22:52

mossity - some schools and appeals panels are taking a childs adopted status into account already, although they are not obliged to and are free to ignore it. It's something you can stress at appeal, among your other reasons for appeal. A post in education would be a good idea also, I'm afraid I have no experience with appeals

Dudeypantsmum Wed 27-Jun-12 18:29:54


Just bumping this as I was wondering if Catholic schools are included in this as their funding can come, in different %'s from their dioceses rather than the local authority. My SW was a bit unsure as at present at our local Catholic school only christened or catholic LAC have priority (No' 1 on admissions)and non-catholic LAC are no'6 on the admissions list.

I was christened Catholic but non-practising but will not be christening LO as I believe it should be his choice and even if I wanted to I would not be able to before the applications are submited as his paperwork will not be done in time as the courts seem to be going on a go slow!

I am choosing the Catholic school as all and I mean nearly all my family are teachers in Catholic schools and it is all I know! Oh and it is the best in the area!!! and in walking distance - I live on the same road!

rose69 Fri 17-May-13 12:45:35

Snail, we were able to claim housing benefit with the children's original birth certificate. It might be worth checking whether their social worker should have advised you of this and trying to claim the money back from the council.
Dudeypants - check your admissions criteria for catholic schools - your local authority would have published these on line. Baptised Catholic looked after children should get priority.
Mossity - its worth a go - contact your local ward councillor for advice if the school admissions team are not being helpful.

I came onto the Board to see if anyone know if there was any legal challenge not to include children adopted before 2005 in the priority places.

Lilka Fri 17-May-13 15:44:10

I'm not aware of any challenges rose but I think it's silly. They've made the provisions too tight which adds loads of complications as well as denying lots of children priority

Its less urgent with secondary school than primary schools, because with primary you have infant class size problems if the school is oversubscribed...winning a secondary school appeal for year 7 is easier than a reception appeal and the childs specific needs including adoption related ones can be brought up as to why the chosen school is the right school.

Oh and the faith school problem really annoys me - it's such a spiteful and crafty thing to do, splitting LAC into those baptised/practicing and not baptised/practicing. I'm sure the schools know how unlikely it is that a LAC will be baptised and practicing, so it's a great way to make sure 'undesirable' pupils don't get a place in their full-of-perfect-children school <fuming>

Tigersarebetterlooking Mon 20-May-13 16:16:43

Yes I agree that the 2005 thing is totally stupid. Do local authorities want to help this vulnerable group of children or not? In the case of my local authority, Richmond upon Thames, the answer is a resounding not! It is a long and painful tale involving my adopted DDs need for an in year place in secondary school but just to say that despite two appeals backed up by reports from my social worker and gp and my DDs clear needs that are all to do with her being adopted she has had not one shred of support from Richmond and we will just have to select from the schools that have spaces.

ReallyTired Mon 20-May-13 17:59:02

I think that people should be encouraged to consider domestic adoption rather than international adoption. Many people chose international adoption so that they can adopt a cute, healthy baby rather than a three year old british child with pychological trauma and special needs.

"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? "

Many children are older than one or two years old because care proceedings are so slow and its slow deciding that a child should never be returned to its birth parents. It is far harder to find someone to adopt a four year old with issues than cute baby. Prehaps making school admissions easier for domestically adopted children will increase the number of adoptions.

Lilka Mon 20-May-13 18:34:16

I'm going to disagree ReallyTired - There aren't really any healthy babies left in international adoption, unless you want to go to the USA. Otherwise, if you want a young 'cute' baby, you need domestic adoption. The Uk does have aa few young healthy babies, unlike lots of IA countries which only have older and special needs children. Which is of course great if that's the child you want to adopt, especially since a few of the children would probably die if they weren't adopted (unlike in the UK where we have good medical care).

Actually if you want to adopt a child aged 9-15, International might be a better way to go than domestic because children that age are very rarely placed for adoption in the UK, unlike in other countries. Aslo if you want to adopt a child with things like HIV, Hepatitis etc...some countries have HIV orphans who need homes and will die otherwise because good medical care and HIV drugs are barely accessible to them in their birth country. Ukraine a good example of that, its got a massive problem with HIV but unlike some African countries, you don't run the risk of encountering child trafficking when you adopt.

I was watching Ukraine's Forgotten Children the other heart broke for those kids sad I wish couples in the UK would go and adopt some of them to be honest, that was my gut reaction after watching. My heart lifted to see that boy Sasha who got adopted by an American couples and months later he was no longer a skeletal weight, no longer going to waste away stuck in his crib day in day out, and die and be buried with 400 other children...he was so happy and getting chubby cheeks!

I support adoption when it's the best thing for the child full stop, and I am so happy to hear of adoptions from all countries.

Unfortunately i don't believe school places will encourage people to think of adoption. We just don't have a culture of adoption in this country. I believe all people should assess whether adoption is an option for them, although it's not the right thing for a lot of people and I would never tell people to adopt.

And yes Tigers the 2005 thing really annoyed me. I'm sorry for your DD and your current struggles

Tigersarebetterlooking Mon 20-May-13 19:21:51

Thanks for the message of support Lilka. Was the post about domestic v international adoption a response to my post? If so, my dd is a domestic adoption but it hasn't meant any support has been given. Personally I don't think it would hurt anyone to give all adoptees the school priority.

Lilka Mon 20-May-13 19:26:01

No it was a response to ReallyTired's post about encouraging domestic adoption only.

However i agree with you, it wouldn't have hurt anyone to give international adoptees school priority places either.

The whole amendment was far too restrictive

ReallyTired Mon 20-May-13 21:02:40

Lilka, I disagree with international adoption. It takes the child out of their enviroment, culture and makes any possible contact with their birth familiy impossible. I feel its better for overseas aid to support children in their native countries.

There are lots of British children who need adopting as well. Its ironic that social workers are overly fanatical about matching ethnic background yet international adoption is allowed.

"Actually if you want to adopt a child aged 9-15, International might be a better way to go than domestic because children that age are very rarely placed for adoption in the UK, unlike in other countries."

There are plenty of children of that age group in need of long term fostering. Foster carers of UK children have support and training to cope. It is understood that UK children in care have been to hell and back. In some cases they have suffered every bit as badly as children from abroad.

I imagine that adopting a child from abroad in that age group could be recipe for trouble without proper support. What happens when international adoptions break down?

This is an awful case of seven year old russian boy being given a one way ticket back to Russia.

Kewcumber Mon 20-May-13 21:55:54

You're entitled to your opinion Really but I am surprised as I've yet to hear anything but encouragement from you domestic adopters when anyone tries to adopt any child from anywhere. Most adopters seem to take the rather pragmatic view that children don't choose where they're born and children who have the good fortune of being born in the UK aren't inherently more deserving of a home than those in other countries. At least that's what the Hague Convention thinks but not everyone (like you) has to agree with that.

Its ultimately a bit of a waste of energy summoning up the enthusiasm to have an opinion on intercountry as its such an infinitesimally small thing in this country probably running at well below 200 at the moment. But I would like to correct a couple of facts: children overseas in institutions are similarly subject to trauma, abuse and neglect, have significant risk of exposure to drugs and alcohol pre-natally and health problems; I only know of one set of intercountry adoptive parents who hadn't previously attempted to adopt domestically and been refused: children in overseas orphanages rarely have accurate information about who their birth parents are, let alone contact and there are studies which show no siginificant difference in the outcomes of children adopted into a different culture than those within a culture.

I don't understand the point about the boy who was sent back to russia by the loon who adopted him. I could just as easily point you at the story of the child killed in the uk by their adoptive father or the many more children in Russia murdered or injured by their russian adoptive family.

Disrupted adoptions are devastating for children. I have peripherally been involved in one and it was one of the most heart wrenching thing I've ever been witness to. Fortunately never seen an ICA disrupt but if it happens then the child is by then british and goes into the care system. Just the same as any child whose parents aren't able to adequately parent them. Tbh the system isn't swamped with adoptive children flooding into the care system, on the whole its birth children being failed by birth parents.

Kewcumber Mon 20-May-13 22:07:49

which all sounds very defensive and I have no need to be!

you are quite right to be concerned about older adoptions though. post school adoptions (of any sort domestic or otherwise) have a horribly low chance of succeeding if you believe the stories.

Lilka Mon 20-May-13 22:33:42

Since when was long term fostering the same thing as adoption? I chose to adopt a 10 year old, not foster one. Fostering is not right for some families who want older children.

I don't understand not agreeing with international adoption. I feel that done ethically, international adoption is preferable to institutionalised care. What kind of culture does a literally baby-sized half starved six year old who lives in a crib 24 hours a day getting? Thank God that child was taken out of his environment at least. As loving as the staff were, his environment was a death trap for him.

The problem with aid is that it's useless without long term cultural and political change. Which is great- but does absolutely nothing for the children alive already who will be adults before change happens. What about them? Why should they live in an environment which we know is extremely detrimental to mental health? An environment which leads to such lovely statistics as 15-20% attempting suicide within 5 years of aging out, and 60-70% of girls becoming prostitutes? A family environment is usually preferable.

I have seen and heard plenty of stories of successful older child adoptions - I am one of an over 9. And there are wonderful stories of 11-15 year olds succeeding in life through adoption. Yes there are definitely concerns and it's right to be very aware of them and go on eyes wide open. It can be extremely difficult. But if it was a certain disaster nobody would do it.

Open international adoption exists by the way. But not so much in Eastern Europe - more common now in Africa where there are living relatives. You meet the relatives before adopting, partly as a safeuguard against trafficking, then maintain visits/letters going forwards. There were some families doing OA from Guat and other countries before they closed down. But as Kew says, the children have no chance of contact anyway, if they are abandoned that really is it - if they grow up in their birth country their contact chance is still 0.

A disrupted international adoption ends the same way as a domestic disruptions - the child enters care and social workers will attempt to find another family if that is right for the child otherwise. It's always horrific.

Lilka Mon 20-May-13 22:51:47

And same as Kew, I sound defensive when I'm not feeling at all defensive! I'm just always as happy to hear of a child from Russia/Ukraine/Colombia finding a family as I am to hear of a UK child finding the same. Especially when that child would have died if they weren't adopted, or if they were an older child (as an older child adopter I do love to hear about older child adoption especially)

ReallyTired Mon 20-May-13 22:56:37

"Most adopters seem to take the rather pragmatic view that children don't choose where they're born and children who have the good fortune of being born in the UK aren't inherently more deserving of a home than those in other countries. At least that's what the Hague Convention thinks but not everyone (like you) has to agree with that."

A child does a right to a home. A child has a right to their culture, a right to family. I feel the international adoption has similarities to when British children in care were shipped off to Australia for a "better life". Rather than the excuse that overseas orphanages are terrible we should direct foreign aid or bear interational pressure for countries to improve their care insitutions.

The reasons that children are given up for adoption in many overseas countries is very different to the UK. I feel it must be heart breaking for a mother to put her much loved baby in an orphanage because she cannot afford to feed it.

Surely we should be working to keep families together.

There is a dark side for international adoption.

"While we at FMF do not want to see children abused or languishing in institutions, we recognize that adopting a few thousand of these children each year does nothing for the millions who are not chosen. In fact these happy adoption stories damage children who are too old, too disabled, or too dark by diverting attention from them. Systemic abuse requires systemic solutions. Money spent on bringing children to the US is better spent on relief organizations like those we’ve written about in India and Ecuador. Finally, of course, foreign governments need to step up and protect their children. "

ReallyTired Mon 20-May-13 23:08:40

Read this essay by dingdong and you realise that international adoption is not virtous or resuing the child. It is heart breaking to read.

Lilka Mon 20-May-13 23:29:19

Domestic adoption is no more virtuous than international (excepting child trafficking). It involves (at least for me) a parent deciding to have a child (selfishly, all parenthood is selfish) then going and doing it. Unless very old, the child gets little to no say. They are forced to move, to live in a strange new environment and expected to be a new member of the family. They don't consent to this. It's bloody hard for them. They might want very much to go back to mummy and daddy (Fc's or maybe BP's) and might not like their new home at all. Their contact is decided for them, and might be null. They might feel terrible grief for their birth family for the rest of their life. They may not like that they have been adopted when they grow up, they might wish it hadn't happened but there is no legal reversal.

Domestic adoption is also utterly heartbreaking. But I still believe it can be the best option for a child. And equally, adoption can be the best option for a child born in another country.

Please not Yahoo anwers. I freely admit i haven't clicked the YA link and will not read anything posted on there, because having checked it out more than a few times in the's the biggest troll haven in existance, and the members of the adoption community there are nearly all anti adoption, so they will happily explain to you why domestic adoption is wrong because it legally seperates the child from their 'real parents' and is a horrific thing to do to a child because they have a right to be a member of their biological family however abusive they are. And how SS have stolen all the children anyway. And then there's the token 'can you adopt if u are 15 yrs old?' and 'what happens if you put an orphan in a microwave?', and 'I luv my adopted bruvver, can we hav sex?' Yes, really hmm

Kewcumber Tue 21-May-13 09:44:32

You misunderstand me - DS's institution was not terrible. It was clean and warm and staffed with caring women who did a great job on him with his significant delays.

What is terrible is committing a child to a life in an institution. It's soul destroying. They have nothing of their own - no family, no clothes, no toys - its all communal and they live in dormitories with cots or beds lined up with 12 inch gaps between the beds all round. They have no-one who they are the most important thing in the world to, no-one who fights their corner or reads them bedtime stories or makes sure they do their homework or protects them from bullies and bullying is rife in the older children's homes. DS's separation anxiety was for many years really horrendous because all he'd learnt for the first year of his life was that everyone leaves. Everyone. Carers do 24 hour shifts in pairs every four days and obviously some of them leave to work elsewhere as people do when its their job and the children are moved to new rooms with new carers based on age every 6-12 months. Its no life and he has taken about 6 years to be able to sleep alone, for years I had to hold his hand to get him to sleep and sleep with him so that when he woke (frequently) he could put his hand out and pat around until he found me.

No-one I know fights harder to improve the lives of children in institutions overseas than parents of children adopted from those countries - some I know recently returned back from a trip to build a playground in the institution DS lived in, and we have also jointly funded improvements in care for those of the children who additional needs mean they are unlikely to ever be adopted. This is in a country where there is currently no intercountry adoptions and the situation is desperate - children continuing to be given into the care of the state and few locals adopting. Don't think the traffickers are getting much out of the situation and yet children continue to be relinquished for adoption. I'm sure for those children living their lives in limbo are thrilled that someone a thousand miles away approves of this because its ethically more acceptable.

In the countries that the UK is able to adopt from the most common reasons for children be relinquished are government policy (China obviously), drug and alcohol addiction and stigma of single motherhood although I accept that financial restraints are occasionally also a factor, ime it isn't the most common one by a long way.

It isn't that I disagree with you that ALL adoptions should be ethical and we should do more to ensure children and birth parents in ALL countries are supported to avoid where possible children being taken into care but I strongly disapprove of the attitude that says children should be left languishing in care whilst we grown-ups sort our collective shit out. Not for my child thank you.

A child does a right to a home. A child has a right to their culture, a right to family.

The over-riding right according to the Hague convention is the right to a family life - above all else. In the following order of preference:

1- with birth family
2- with adoptive family in country of birth
3- with adoptive family anywhere

Life in an institution is not considered to be an acceptable alternative - if you would want that for your children in the event of your death then you really haven't spent enough time in an institution, even the best of them.

Kewcumber Tue 21-May-13 09:54:03

And for every heart wrenching article there are many more perfectly happy adoptees who are living their lives below the radar screen. Research in Canada shows that the outcome for ICA children is no different to domestically adopted given certain proviso's (being open and honest about race, culture and adoption for example which would be the norm htese days)

But again I have to question why you feel strongly about such a small number of adoptions rather than the 80,000 children in care in the UK having been failed by their birth parents for example or the 15 million children living without their parents across the world. Why target 150 children? And i suppose I also wonder what you are doing to help - how many children you have fostered or adopted? Not the it matters (people are allowed opinions even if its not grounded in any personal experience!), its just that we are fairly open on this board about our and our childrens circumstances and it seems only fair if you do the same.

Ori456 Thu 10-Jul-14 16:29:12

Hi can anyone help me as I am finding it all rather confusing,my son was adopted in 2004 and in September 2015 will be going to senior school so we will start looking September 2014. I have spoken to one school that have said that their admissions policy relates to the 2002 adopted Children's act. But then I have read about other acts and I am totally confused! Any advise will be very much appreciated smile

Lilka Thu 10-Jul-14 16:41:55

Hi Ori - do you live in England? I'll assume so, in which case, as of May this year, your son now has admissions priority full stop. It used to be that the child had to be adopted under the 2002 Act (meaning adopted after the end of December 2005) but now ALL former-LAC-now-adopted children of compulsory school age will be given priority

This thread may help? Has government guidance linked on it -

Ori456 Thu 10-Jul-14 17:19:07

Hi Lilka- thank you for the information, I will have a read through the link.

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