Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Fair admissions for disadvantaged pupils

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There is a legal duty to 'act in accordance with' the Admissions Code. This has at present no determined legal meaning though it is presumably somewhere between 'having regard to' (or, having to give good reason not to) and have to obey (as a result of legislation).

Schools which are not admissions authorities may feel that they can leave the detail to the local authority. However, the code has been moved very much in the direction of ensuring that disadvantaged children have a chance at the schools most in demand.

This has produced a number of strong statements which may be relevant to all schools. It may be worthwhile all schools checking, in particular, uniform requirements that cannot be satisfied by any local retailer and trips and activities that are too expensive for disadvantaged children. Where no provision is made to assist them, both are heavily discouraged. It can only be a matter of time before some parent challenges either or both.

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