Local Authority Approaches to the School Admissions Process

Peter Rudd, Clare Gardiner, Helen Marson-Smith

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


School admissions are clearly of central importance to parents, since they represent a major potential influence on a child’s life chances. They are also
important and high profile for both local and national government, since these bodies will wish to demonstrate that such processes are fair, efficient and serve the best needs of their populations. Over the past few years there have been attempts to clarify and strengthen the role of local authorities (LAs) in school admissions by means of a revised School Admissions Code and other relevant measures. Much of the emphasis in the revised code is on ensuring a
balanced and representative intake that reflects the local community and ensures that the process is not only transparent to parents, but also enables them to
be heard and to contribute to shaping school admissions policies. It was in this context that the Local Government Association (LGA) commissioned an investigation into the various approaches of LAs to the admissions process, with the aim of establishing an overview of the challenges, barriers and facilitating factors connected to the various approaches used. The investigation was
carried out by a research team from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER). The research, carried out in 2009–10, involved a survey
questionnaire sent to admissions officers in all 152 LAs (102 were completed and returned), in-depth interviews with 13 school admissions officers, scrutiny
of LA documents and websites and a one-day workshop to discuss the key issues, with 26 LA and LGA representatives in attendance.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSlough
PublisherNational Foundation for Educational Research
Number of pages38
ISBN (Print)978 1 906792 64 0
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

Publication series

NameLocal Government Education and Children's Services Research Programme


  • School admissions, school improvement, parental choice, local authorities, school choice

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