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All admission authorities should now be in the process of consulting on their admissions policies for 2021/2022. If you are a community school or a voluntary controlled school, then the local authority is responsible for your admissions policy.

If you are an academy, a trust, a voluntary aided or a foundation school then you are the admissions authority and are responsible for the content of your policy. If your governing body is proposing any changes to your admissions policy, then you need to consult with stakeholders on the proposed changes.  You must consult for a minimum of six weeks between 1 October and 31 January. You also must consult on your policy at least every seven years even if no changes are made.

At this point, if you aren’t consulting on your policy, it is too late to do so for this year, but your governing body can discuss this next term ready for the next consultation round.

The School Admissions Code gives admissions authorities flexibility over the oversubscription criteria that you put in place – it only specifies that you must consult and consider the results of the consultation before determining your policy.

Have your governors already discussed the admissions policy for 2021/22? Are they aware of any changes that you are consulting on? Do they know when your policy was last consulted on and when it will be due for consultation again? Have governors discussed the admissions policy and the oversubscription criteria and whether they are still fit for purpose? Do you have this in your annual governance plan as an annual standing item for discussion in summer term or early in autumn term?

Remember that your admissions policy for 2021/22 needs to be published on your website by 28th February this year.

Penny Levack

Penny Levack

Penny has more than ten years’ experience in the classroom, in assessment design, and in leadership roles in both schools and universities. Her most recent role before joining Juniper Education was in governance, compliance, and communications in a multi-academy trust in South London. Penny is a governor herself and is passionate about school governance and the impact that it can have on school improvement. She has a degree in Education Studies from the University of Cambridge.