Alex criticises Government’s School Admissions policy

Government plans to reform the schools admissions system will cause chaos for pupils, parents and teachers, Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham said today.

The Secretary of State for Education last week launched a public consultation on a revised Schools Admissions and School Admission Appeals Codes.

Alex said: “The Government wants to switch responsibility for schools admissions from Local Authorities to individual schools. This is really worrying and is a step towards an increase in selection at age 11 with many children being potentially excluded from their school of choice. I welcome moves to simplify the system and make it easier for parents to understand but from what I have seen, the Government’s plans will cause chaos.

“The time parents are striving to get their children into the school of their choice is an anxious one – but the current system, coordinated by the local authority, is relatively straightforward and allows them to express a series of preferences. To ask parents to contact each and every school they may be interested in and end up with offers from all of them or from none can only serve to add to the stress, lengthen the process and leave young people not knowing where their future lies.”

Cllr Ann McCoy, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Stockton Borough Council said: “In the Stockton Borough we have a good record of placing children in their first choice school. My concern is that the changes the Government hopes to bring in will make the admissions process less fair.”

The Government’s consultation will run until the 19th August, with a revised set of codes due to be published in September this year.