Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

A model of unnecessary bureaucracy

The new admissions code, which was finally published in January, has turned out to be an unnecessarily convoluted and complex document and is likely to create a bureaucratic nightmare for many schools.

ASCL has told the DfES that it is disappointed that the government ignored the association's recommendation to streamline the code to make it workable for schools and local authorities.

Deputy General Secretary Martin Ward said: "The code itself runs to 112 pages, most of which say 'must' and 'must not' in bright red several times to schools and local authorities.

"This is another case of government over-regulation of schools. ASCL said this very clearly in response to the consultation, and some of the most bureaucratic and least workable proposals in the code have been dropped and greater clarity created, which of course we welcome. But most schools will need to rewrite their admissions policies, and it will be a complex process to ensure that they comply with the new code."

The final appeals process had not been published when Leader went to print. Martin called a meeting with senior civil servants in January to argue that the proposed appeals process would be a nightmare for schools and should be drastically streamlined.

ASCL will publish a guidance paper shortly to help members work through the new code. In the meantime, copies of the full report are available on Teachernet.

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