Exclusive: Academies could lose some admissions powers

Ministers are considering radical changes to school admissions that would hand back some of academies’ powers to local authorities, TES has learned.

Talks are taking place within the Department for Education about how England’s increasingly fragmented, academised school admissions system can be better ordered.

One proposal, which TES understands has been discussed by the DfE, is to put local authorities in charge of appeals over academy admissions decisions and to give the councils responsibility for admissions to academies during the school year.

It is understood that the department has also been considering other major changes to the admissions system that would have an even more dramatic effect on academies.

“They’re looking at policy changes to address admissions in an all-academy system,” one senior figure in the academies movement told TES.

“I completely understand the logic of it,” the source added. “The difficulty from our end would be saying, ‘We think we do a pretty good job on admissions and we’re worried about the quality of the local authority process in some places’.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education said that it did not comment on speculation.

This is an edited version of an article in the 4 March edition of TES. Subscribers can view the full article here. This week’s TES magazine is available in all good newsagents. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here

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