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Is there a deadline for changes to admissions criteria?

(10 Posts)
CaptainVonTrapp Wed 26-Sep-12 21:04:44

So a local school has removed the admissions policy from its website. (When I phoned to ask for it they referred me to the website) I heard from a Mum there that they are changing it.

Is there a point at which they must make it available?

JWIM Wed 26-Sep-12 22:04:25

The 2013/14 policy should be in place for the current admissions applicationsround to Year R/3 for September 2013 and in year admissions for the academic year 2013/14.

The admissions policy for 2014/15 (Sept 2014 entry and in year 2014/15) will be being considered by admissions authorities (LAs, vol aided and free schools and academies). If the policy is being amended it must be available in draft for consultation/comment for a period of time (I think 8 or 10 weeks) between Nov 2012 and end Feb 2013. The Governing Body of the school or LA admissions must then determine/adopt the new policy- for our county this is by mid April 2013 so it is ready for the application rounds starting in the Autumn term 2013 for Sept 2014.

prh47bridge Thu 27-Sep-12 00:00:54

The mid-April date is actually a national one. Admission authorities must determine their admission arrangements by 15th April. Any objections must be made to the Schools Adjudicator by 30th June and a composite prospectus must be on the LA's website by 12th September. It is therefore too late for any school to change its admission arrangements for pupils being admitted next year. It is, of course, possible that the policy they have removed related to this year's admissions and will be replaced by the one for next year. The admission criteria should be in the composite prospectus on the LA's website.

CaptainVonTrapp Thu 27-Sep-12 10:00:45

Thanks both of you.

Yes it is in fact on the LA website (just not on the schools own site - the school is vol aided)

It has been changed significantly (for Sept intake 2013). I don't know if there was ever a consultation period. I think I will contact the LA as the school don't seem very helpful.

CaptainVonTrapp Thu 27-Sep-12 10:34:08

Having spoken to the LA (pretty vague) it seems that perhaps there never was a consultation period... But they also said that this is in place now and is 'set' Not sure where this leaves me really. (As I would have objected to one of the changes on it)

prh47bridge Thu 27-Sep-12 11:44:06

If an admission authority wants to change its admission arrangements it must have a public consultation which must last for a minimum of 8 weeks. That should have been between 1st November last year and 1st March this year for September 2013 admissions. A consultation is not needed if the only change is an increase in PAN or the changes are necessary to comply with the Admissions Code or the School Admissions Regulations. The proposed admission arrangements must be published on the admission authority's website throughout the consultation period.

As this is a VA school it is its own admission authority. It was therefore up to the school to conduct the consultation and the proposed arrangements should have been on the school's website whilst the consultation was in progress. The new admission arrangements should have been on the school's website since the start of term and must remain there for the full academic year.

If you are adversely affected by the change and your child misses out on a place as a result you can use any failure to consult, along with any other failures to comply with the Admissions Code, as evidence in an appeal. You could also complain now to the Schools Adjudicator, although they may think this is a matter for the Local Government Ombudsman.

It is, of course, quite possible that the school has complied with the consultation requirements and whoever you spoke to at the LA isn't aware of this.

JWIM Thu 27-Sep-12 12:42:29

- 'consultation' may have been a communication to existing parents about the draft policy, something on school's website at the time or a statement in a local paper or village magazine, plus letting Heads at neighbouring schools know about the draft. The LA may have been told the policy was being redrafted but may not have had any involvement/offered any comment hence their vague response.
- also bear in mind that even if you had objected to an aspect of the policy the Governors may still have determined the policy (adopted it) without the change you wanted.

CaptainVonTrapp Thu 27-Sep-12 19:52:06

Thanks so much for all the info.

I have been keeping an eye on the admissions criteria so I know that until recently (couple of weeks ago) only last years was available.

No, the changes made were not to bring it into line with regulations.

I have looked at the schools adjudicator website and may go down this path or just appeal if necessary.

admission Thu 27-Sep-12 22:51:21

The admission criteria for entry in sept 2013 should have been agreed by 15th April 2012. I suspect that the consultation did take place but it was not that obvious!
If the school has changed its admission criteria for sept 2013 admissions in the last few weeks, then that can only happen if the school adjudicator has agreed it or the school are completely wrong legally
If you pm me the school name and LA I will look at the new admission criteria and see whether they accord with the regs and if there is any sign that the school adjudicator was involved in the changes.

CaptainVonTrapp Fri 28-Sep-12 22:35:51

Thanks I have PM'd you. The new admissions criteria is still not on the schools website (but are on the LA's).

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