Councils ‘must issue admissions report’

Local authorities should be required to produce an annual report detailing proposed school admissions policies in their areas, to ensure all children have fair access to education, according to a new report.

The proposals, put forward by the Children’s Services Network, an independent body that supports local authorities, calls for the forthcoming education bill to place a duty on councils to produce an annual admissions report.

It says the report would also contain the local authority’s views on any policies that it believed to be in breach of the admissions code of practice.

CSN, which was formerly called The Education Network, said the present school admissions system was failing to provide adequate education for some of the most vulnerable children.

Martin Rogers, co-ordinator of CSN, said the proposed report would form the basis for local consultation on admissions  arrangements and would enable parents to see in one document exactly what was going on in their area.

The government has said it will give admissions forums the power to produce an annual report setting out the detail of local admissions arrangements but the network argues that this is not strong enough.

“It needs to be a duty, not just a power, as this provides a mechanism for ensuring consistency and coherence,” said Rogers.

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