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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 Mon 25-Aug-14 23:00:01

The government amended their non-statutory admissions guidelines this May, to include children adopted before 30th December 2005. The government expects admissions policies to reflect this new guidance quickly, so if you are going to be applying for a place in the coming admissions round, you should be fine.

Admissions policies online are not always updated quickly. But you can always ring the school/admission authority for clarification

It's not all schools though - faith schools are allowed to have special rules which mean children of the faith have higher priority than children not of the faith, regardless of whether they are in LAC/PLAC. Also, state grammars which select on ability only will continue to do so.

The government document which explains the new guidance is here -

HOWEVER I'm not an expert nor do I work in education, so if you need any guidance or other information, it would be a good idea to start a thread in the education topic, there are several very knowledgable people there who will definitely know how it should all work

crazylady3 Sun 24-Aug-14 22:43:47

Do you know if all schools have to have all PLAC children as a priority, I have noticed that some schools still state in their admissions policy that they come under the 2002 Act? I thought it was now all children PLA?

Kewcumber Fri 11-Jul-14 08:15:06

Yes Lilka - I had the same thoughts about threads started by certain posters but couldn't even bring myself to type it out!

Lilka Fri 11-Jul-14 01:10:12

Zombie threads are sometimes fun - if the attachment disorder thread ever unzombifies, it will be too soon!

Copy and pasting my own stuff is one of those ideas that is so good, it can only occur to you well after you needed it grin Although I do indeed have a handy list of IJ quotes to prevent me having to brave the vom-inducing colour scheme of his website every time I need to explain things, such as following this program (i am planning to be kind to myself for once and avoid most post program discussion, but i am the worst at getting myself suckered into debates)

Kewcumber Thu 10-Jul-14 23:28:54

Ha ha namechanges - I only wish I were organised enough to cut and paste! Zombie threads are fun I think.

namechangesforthehardstuff Thu 10-Jul-14 22:26:21

Oh sorry - zombie (ish) thread. Hat off anyway ladies smile

namechangesforthehardstuff Thu 10-Jul-14 22:24:43

Once again Lilka and Kew hats off to you for patiently explaining again and again and again. Please tell me you have a list to cut and paste from smile You'll need it when that programme screens grin

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

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

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 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

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.

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.

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

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.

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. "

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)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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 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

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.

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.

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