Canary Wharf College, a free school which opened in September 2011, apparently gives priority in admissions to ‘children whose parents are Founders of the College’.
Canary Wharf College is one of the majority of free schools whose funding agreement (which is where the admissions criteria would be formally set out) is not yet publicly available.
“Canary Wharf College will comply with the Schools Admissions Code. A maximum of 20 places per class will be admitted.”
But then it says this:
“If the College is under-subscribed, all applications will be accepted. Where the College is over-subscribed, applications will be considered against the criteria set out below, after the admission of students with a statement of Special Education Need that names the College. Places will be allocated to applicants in the following priority order:
- Children who are looked after by a local authority (in public care)
- Children whose parents are Founders of the College
- Applicants who meet the criteria for Faith Places (up to 50% of total places)
- Applicants who meet the criteria for Community Places”
It then says this:
“Founders of the college are defined as the Proposers, and those who have provided specific assistance, advice, guidance or support to the Proposers in the preparation of the Application and Business Case for the College.”
That would appear (we can’t tell till we see the funding agreement) to be an example of a free school taking advantage of the new opportunity for free schools to comply with most but not all of the admissions code.
That sounds like a potentially large group of people, but there is no detail about who they are, let alone, for example, their ethnic profile.
That opens up a range of equality and other legal issues.