Memorandum from the Department for Education
OF ADMISSION ARRANGEMENTS)
2002 (S.I. 2002/2904)
1. The Joint Committee has requested a memorandum
in relation to the above instrument on the points set out below.
Paragraph 6 of the Schedule states that a determination
under paragraph 2(c) may only be communicated to the parent by
the authority on behalf of the governing body. Why is no similar
provision made with respect to determinations under paragraph
2. Paragraphs 1, 2, 5 and 6 of the Schedule set out
the requirements of a qualifying scheme and the respective obligations
of a local education authority responsible for formulating such
a scheme and each governing body admission authority within that
authority's area to which it applies. As such, "the authority"
referred to in paragraph 6 as making a determination in accordance
with paragraph 2(c) will be the authority which is referred to
as "the home authority" in paragraphs 3 and 4. The latter
paragraphs make additional provision in relation respectively
to applications made by parents from within a local education
authority's area for schools in another local education authority's
area, and by parents outside their area for places at schools
which they maintain. In such cases, the authority making a determination
as to whether a child is to be granted or refused admission to
a secondary school in their area will be either the "home
authority" or the "maintaining authority" depending
on the type of application in question. In those circumstances
the Department did not consider it was appropriate to include
a reference to paragraph 4(c) in paragraph 6. However, paragraph
4(e) of the Schedule makes similar provision as regards a maintaining
authority's obligation to communicate offers on behalf of a governing
body admission authority.
Paragraph 6 also does not appear to make provision
for the case where the governing body are the admission authority.
What are the respective duties of the governing body and the authority
in such a case?
3. The duties of a governing body admission authority
in relation to each application for their school are set out in
paragraph 5 of the Schedule. Under subparagraph (c) of that
paragraph they are required to notify the local education authority
who maintain the school of their determination as to a child's
priority ranking under the school's admissions criteria. Where,
having regard to any such notifications and any determinations
which that authority may themselves have made under paragraph
2(b), it appears to the authority that a child in their area is
eligible to be admitted to more than one secondary school then,
under paragraph 2(c) read with paragraph 1(a), the authority determine
what single offer of a school place is to be made to a parent
in their area.
4. If the child in question is not resident within
the area of the local education authority maintaining the school
a governing body admission authority must still notify that authority
in accordance with paragraph 5(c) of the child's priority ranking.
Under paragraph 4(c) the maintaining authority then determine,
having regard to any other potential offers the child may have
for schools in their area, whether to offer a place at the school.
They are required to notify the home local education authority
under paragraph 4(d) of their determination. However, in these
circumstances, it is the maintaining authority and not the home
local education authority who communicate the offer to the parent
in accordance with paragraph 4(e); that subparagraph also
provides that where the offer relates to a school whose governing
body are the admission authority the offer is communicated by
the maintaining authority on the governing body's behalf.
6 January 2003
Further memorandum from the Department
for Education and Skills
OF ADMISSION ARRANGEMENTS)
2002 (S.I. 2002/2904)
1. The Joint Committee has requested the Department
to submit a further memorandum in relation to the above instrument
on the points set out below.
In answer to the Committee's first question, the
Department's memorandum acknowledges that paragraph 4(e) of the
Schedule makes similar provision to that in paragraph 2(e). If
it was considered necessary to include paragraph 6 in respect
of the latter, why is it not also necessary in respect of the
2. Paragraphs 2(e) and 4(e) of the Schedule each
make clear that any communication granting or refusing a child
admission to a particular school is to be made by the local education
authority (LEA) who maintain the school, and that any such communication
is communicated by them on behalf of the governing body in any
case where the LEA are not the admission authority for the school.
3. The Department acknowledges, on reflection, that
the inclusion of paragraph 6 was unnecessary and that it makes
no difference to the practical effect of the Regulations.
The Department's answer to the Committee's second
question makes it clear that all decisions as to whether a child
is to be granted or refused admission must be made by the authority,
even where the admission authority is the governing body of the
school. Identify the provisions which authorise the Regulations
to require a scheme to include this requirement,
and explain how the Regulations in this respect are compatible
with section 89C(3) of the 1998 Act.
4. The Department respectfully points out that it
is not the case that all decisions as to whether a child
is to be granted or refused admission to a school must be made
by the LEA. As explained in the previous memorandum, where a governing
body are the admission authority for a school they are required
by paragraph 5(c) of the Schedule to notify the maintaining authority
of their (ie. the governing body's) determination under
subparagraph (b), by reference to the school's admissions
criteria, of a child's priority for admission to the school. Under
paragraph 2(c), where it appears to the LEA (having regard to
any such notifications and any determinations they themselves
may have made under paragraph 2(b) in relation to schools for
which they are the admission authority) that the child is eligible
to be admitted to more than one school, only then do the LEA determine
by reference to the criteria specified in accordance with
paragraph 1(d)(i) whether in relation to each such school
the child is to be granted or refused admission.
5. The power to include in the scheme a requirement
for any admission decision to be made by the LEA (whether or not
they are the admission authority) is conferred by section 89B(6)
of the 1998 Act. This defines a "qualifying scheme"
as "a scheme that meets prescribed requirements" (ie.
ones prescribed by regulations). The Department acknowledges that
such a scheme need not inevitably include such a requirement (and
the possibility that it might not is contemplated by section 89C(3)).
Section 89C(3) however does not constrain the scope of the powers
conferred by section 89B, so there is no inconsistency.
27 January 2003