Headlines: August 2nd, 1999

The Government has given in to long-term pressure for an independent appeals system for parents who fail to get their children into the school of their choice.

It comes after figures that show that the numbers of parents appealing against the Local Education Authority’s choice of school for their children has risen a further six per cent to 77,000 in the last year.

School Standards Minister Estelle Morris said there would also be better information for parents on the admissions policies of LEAs and individual schools from this autumn.

She said it was clear that parents needed greater openness and transparency than the current system offered.

“That is why from September this year, the admission appeal panels will for the first time be totally independent of admissions authorities, ensuring that parents’ views are not seen as of secondary importance. It is also why we are requiring LEAs to publish a single booklet offering parents details of the admissions policies of all schools in their area, so that parents can have the information in an accessible form.”

The new Code of Practice on School Admissions Appeals comes into force on 1 September 1999.