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OSA report hails successful introduction of new admissions timetable

01/02/2017 Joanna

The recent introduction of a new timetable for school admission arrangements has been largely successful, according to a report from the Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA).

Chief adjudicator Shan Scott has submitted her annual report to education secretary Justine Greening, covering the period from September 1st 2015 to August 31st 2016. Primarily, it concerns the progress made by admission authorities in England in complying with the School Admissions Code, and on the first year of operation of the new timetable for the determination of arrangements by admission authorities, as well as the process of raising objections to those arrangements.

According to the OSA analysis, the new timetable for admissions "is to be welcomed and serves parents well", although it was recommended that the Department for Education consider a number of measures to ensure the process can be made as smooth as possible.

It was suggested that guidance could be issued to admission authorities on how to maximise the benefits of feeder schools in terms of continuity of education and shared work across schools, while ensuring the selection of feeder schools does not result in unfair outcomes for other local children.

Additionally, it was proposed that multi-academy trusts be advised on how to ensure responsibility for determining admission arrangements is laid out clearly and reflected in schemes of delegation to local governing bodies where appropriate.

Finally, the report recommended that proposals for local authorities take responsibility for coordinating all in-year admissions be brought forward.

Ms Scott said: "The OSA aims to consider each case referred to us impartially, honestly and objectively and in full accordance with the legislation that governs our powers and duties, and I am confident that all my colleagues have done everything possible to meet that aim.

"I am confident too that in their dealings with parents, schools, academy trusts, religious bodies, local authorities and others, adjudicators and OSA staff appreciate how important the matters raised are."

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