This note on school admissions sets out the statutory framework and the main issues relating to
school admissions. It considers the Schools Admissions Code; the powers and duties of local
authorities and schools’ own admission authorities in determining admission arrangements; the
use of published admission numbers (PAN) and oversubscription criteria; the application and
offer process for school places; and the timetable for school admissions.
The note also considers the schools adjudicator, the use of Fair Access Protocols and government
powers of direction to admit a child to a school. It includes an examination of the special
provisions in place for offers to school children with special educational needs (SEN), looked after
children, previously excluded children and in-year admissions.
The note does not include school admission appeals, since these are covered in a separate note
(see Practice note, School admission appeals).
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