Vulnerable children left out of school for too long, warns admissions watchdog


By Martin George | 08 February 2018

Annual report says two-thirds of objections to school admission arrangements were about academies and free schools

The chief adjudicator has raised concerns that the needs of children who need a school place outside the normal admissions round are not being met.

The comments from Shan Scott come in the Office of the Schools Adjudicator Annual Report for 2016-2017, published this morning.

In it, she says the “main admissions rounds for entry to schools works well”, but adds: “I remain less confident that the needs of children who need a place outside the normal admissions rounds are so well met and I am concerned that some of these children, particularly the more vulnerable, spend more time out of school than they should.”

The report also says that the number of objections to admission arrangements halved, from 200 received in 2015-16 to 100 in 2016-17. Two thirds of these were for academies and free schools.

The report says: “Of the new cases, 15 concerned the admission arrangements for 14 community and voluntary controlled schools, 11 for 11 voluntary aided schools, six for four foundation schools and 68 for 62 academy schools, including free schools.”

The adjudicator upheld or partially upheld 41 objections.