Education Act 2011 – Schools Adjudicator able to consider some complaints against academy admissions arrangements

The Education Act 2011 received royal assent on 15 November 2011. When it section 64 comes into force the Schools Adjudicator will be able to consider complaints against the admissions arrangements of an academy.

However, it seems from the consultation draft of the new admissions code and the draft regulations which will flesh out what the adjudicator can, and cannot, do, that the adjudicator will (so it is proposed) not be able to consider a complaint about aspects of arrangements which depart from the admissions code requirements in ways set out in the funding agreement in question.

Another post describes the way in which the current model funding agreement for free schools contemplates there being non-compliance with the Admissions Code.

And there are already examples in the public domain of such departures.

But even in the case of an academy (rather than a free school) where the model agreement suggests compliance with the Admissions Code (and does not expressly contemplate departure) there would be nothing to stop the actual agreement allowing for departure – the model is, after all, just the starting point for a negotiation.

Anyway, it seems likely that any really controversial admissions arrangements would be put in place that way (i.e. written into the funding agreement as specific departures from the Admissions Code) and thus be out of the Adjudicator’s reach. So the extension of the Adjudicator’s powers to cover academies may be more symbolic than real.



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