Foundation schools block difficult pupils

Plans to give schools shared responsibility for vulnerable
children will be undermined by moves to allow them more
independence over admissions, a parliamentary committee has

The education and skills committee told education secretary Ruth
Kelly that the establishment of more foundation schools, with
control over their own admissions, was incompatible with her aim of
ensuring all schools took their fair share of hard-to-place

Kelly said last month that all schools would be expected to
operate as part of a local network, which would make sure difficult
pupils were spread fairly among them, by September 2007.

Schools that did not comply could be referred to the national
admissions regulator, but there are fears that this may not be
sufficient to enforce the policy.

Committee chair Barry Sheerman said it was unlikely that schools
that were pursuing better test results would readily want to take
more difficult pupils.

He said: “Many schools are using the rules, bending the rules
just to make sure they get the best kids. They don’t take their
responsibility for the more disruptive kids.”

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