The first example I have seen of a free school funding agreement not giving full effect to the Admissions Code of Practice comes in the Bristol Free School agreement, kindly just sent to me by the school.
As explained in another post, the model funding agreement for free schools contemplates them departing from the Admissions Code of Practice (and the Adjudicator’s new powers over academy admission arrangements will not bite on those things).
This is the first example I have seen of that actually happening.
The relevant parts of Annex 2 of its funding agreement say this:
“2. The Academy Trust, subject to any exceptions provided in this annex, will act in accordance with, and will ensure that an Independent Appeal Panel is trained to act in accordance with, all relevant provisions of the School Admissions Code and the School Admission Appeals Code published by the Department for Education (“the Codes”) as they apply at any given time to maintained schools and with equalities law and the law on admissions as they apply to maintained schools. For this purpose, reference in the Codes or legislation to “admission authorities” shall be deemed to be references to the governing body of the Academy Trust.”
“10. The Academy admission arrangements will include oversubscription criteria, and an admission number for each relevant age group3. The Academy will consult on its admission arrangements and determine them in line with the requirements within the School Admissions Code, save that in respect of the admission arrangements for the academic years of 2011 to 2012 and 2012 to 2013 for the Bristol Free School, it is recognised that any consultation undertaken will not be in compliance with the procedure set out within the School Admissions Code.”
In other words – the school was being set up so quickly that consultation on the proposed admissions arrangements could not comply with the timing requirements of the Admissions Code (which contemplates consultation/decision on oversubscription criteria taking place well in advance so that everyone knows where they stand in good time).