Baroness Massey of Darwen – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Education

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Baroness Massey of Darwen on 2016-02-03.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether it is their policy that all schools should follow the School Admissions Code, and if so, why objections to the Office of the Schools Adjudicator that have been upheld have been described by the Secretary of State for Education as vexatious”.”

Lord Nash

All maintained schools and academies are required to comply with the School Admissions Code.

Currently, legislation allows ‘any person or body who considers that a maintained school or academy’s arrangements are unlawful’ to refer an objection to the Schools Adjudicator. However, the Adjudicator raised concerns in her recent annual report that, in some instances, groups and individuals appear to have referred objections in an attempt to influence government policy.

We want to ensure that the Adjudicator is able to focus on the concerns that parents may have about their local school’s admission arrangements, and is not held up by the need to also consider large numbers of objections referred by interest groups from outside the area. We are, therefore, proposing that only local parents and local authorities should be able to refer objections to the Schools Adjudicator.

We will be conducting a full public consultation in due course and will give careful consideration to all the views expressed in that consultation.