§ Mr. Timms
As part of the consultation exercise on the Green Paper "Schools—Building on Success", we received 421 responses from a number of organisations, LEAs, teachers, governors and parents which commented on secondary schools, some of which addressed admissions directly. Common themes have been the need for maximum access to good local schools, and for admission authorities to adopt a more co-ordinated approach to the admission process.
§ Mr. Timms
We introduced a new admissions framework for all schools in the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. Its aim was to promote parental choice and make the admissions system fairer and easier for parents. A new statutory requirement was imposed on admission authorities requiring them to consult each other annually, before determining their admission arrangements. Where local agreement cannot be reached, admission authorities can object to an independent Schools Adjudicator or, where appropriate, to the Secretary of State.
School admission arrangements are decided locally and admission authorities are free to choose what arrangements to use, although they must be clear, fair and objective and operated in a reasonable manner in line with guidance contained in the Code of Practice on School Admissions.
Parents have the right to appeal to an independent appeal panel if refused a place at their preferred school.