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Clarification on Admissions Code please

(12 Posts)
yummychoccycake Wed 01-Jun-11 15:59:42

Hi,

Ok, its paragraph 2.16, where it discusses the prohibition of unfair over subscription criteria. It states:

" The admissions authority must not use the over subscription criteria that give priority to children according to the alphabetical order of their first name/surname or by their date of birth."

Could someone just clarify the date of birth bit for me please.

Its just my son was refused a place where his older sibling attends just because there was a bigger age gap (bear in mind its only a 2yr 3mth gap) than other siblings. I didnt know if this ties in with the date of birth bit??

Sorry if its a bit confused
Thanks

PatriciaHolm Wed 01-Jun-11 17:01:08

Slightly confused - is this for nursery admissions? Sometimes nurseries will admit by age e.g. oldest given preference over younger for example, so this makes sense in that context. It can't be reception admissions.

What are the rest of the criteria?

admission Wed 01-Jun-11 17:12:53

2.16 was put in because some schools used to have an admission "decider" of admitting the older pupils rather than the younger ones. Your situation is not exactly what they had in mind but if we are talking a maintained school and we are talking about a reception child with a sibling who will continue in the school the next September then I would say it was probably covered by that reg, they are making a decision based on age, which is not allowed.
As Patricia says the situation is very different in nurseries both maintained and private and there age could be a decision maker in whether to admit.
Could you give more detail on the ages etc so that we can understand this better and is this in the school's admission criteria?

yummychoccycake Wed 01-Jun-11 17:37:37

Hi yes, DS1 is 7yrs and goes to a community school.

We tried getting DS2, (5yrs in September) in to the same school. But the school is over subscribed. Apparently their age gap was used to determine who would get a place (we are in Suffolk).

Hope thats clearer.

Thanks very much!

yummychoccycake Wed 01-Jun-11 17:42:52

Sorry forgot to add that the other criteria was the usual, children in care and the age gap one, the LA didnt mention any other criteria that they used.

The school isnt in our catchment but was when DS1 started. We dont own our home, we was moved by the Housing Asscociation.

Thanks

admission Wed 01-Jun-11 19:11:26

Suffolk's admission criteria is looked after children, then those in catchment, followed by those not in catchment. In both major categories there are sub categories, the first of which is medical, followed by siblings and then straight line distance.
In the siblings category it does state, "Priority will be given, where necessary, to applications where there is the smallest age gap." and I assume that you therefore missed out over this in the out of catchment category.
Personally I think that this breaks at least the spirit of 2.16 but the only person who can confirm that is the Schools Adjudicator and I would suggest that you contact them to ask their views on this. It is actually a silly thing to put in as all under the siblings category will be differentiated by distance anyway, so there was no need for it.
I will be very interested in what the schools adjudicator has to say on this.

yummychoccycake Wed 01-Jun-11 19:42:44

Thanku for your reply.

Sorry if this sounds silly, but who is the school adjudicator?

prh47bridge Wed 01-Jun-11 19:57:17

The Schools Adjudicator is a government body which deals with objections to admission arrangements. Their website is here. If you refer Suffolk's admission arrangements to the Schools Adjudicator they will rule on whether or not they comply with the Admissions Code and, if they don't, will tell Suffolk to change them. That won't get your son a place - the Adjudicator doesn't have the power to do that. But if the Adjudicator ruled that Suffolk were wrong that would be a powerful argument to take to an appeal. Having said that, the Adjudicator can take some time to make a ruling so you may want to consider appealing immediately and putting this argument to an appeal panel.

yummychoccycake Wed 01-Jun-11 20:01:57

Thankyou very much for all your replies.

yummychoccycake Wed 01-Jun-11 20:12:11

Sorry me again,

Ive had a look at the adjudicators website. Should I email them? What do I say to them?
Do I ask them to look at Suffolks admission arrangements to see if they comply with admissions code?

Sorry I get a bit stuck with words

admission Wed 01-Jun-11 22:37:40

I would say that your child has been refused a place at the school on the basis that there were other siblings who had a smaller age gap between the siblings. That having looked at the school admission code that you believe that Suffolk are breaking the code under regulation 2.16 and would they consider whether this is actually the case.
As PRH says this will not get you a place immediately but it will certainly give an admission appeal panel something to think about. After you have talked to the schools adjudicator I would put it is writing to the adjudicator and copy it to the Admission Manager of the LA. Sometimes if they realise that there could be a problem then sometimes this has a positive effect on places becoming available

yummychoccycake Thu 02-Jun-11 09:17:38

Thankyou for your advice!

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