Azara Blog: Schools should allegedly not control their own admission

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Date published: 2007/02/26

The BBC says:

State schools should not control their own admissions because it increases the risk of cherry-picking of bright pupils, says an influential think-tank.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) says allowing some schools to run admissions increases social segregation.

It says it would be fairer if local authorities ran all admissions, and all intakes were of mixed ability.

The government said schools should have an element of freedom on admissions.

City academies and some faith schools can administer admissions, within rules designed to stop selection.

IPPR director Nick Pearce said: "At the moment, schools that control their own admission arrangements are selecting their pupils, and our classrooms are more socially segregated than the local communities outside the school gates."

The IPPR wants local authorities to run admissions for all state secondary schools and says the allocation of places should be by "fair banding", under which intakes contain pupils across a range of different abilities.

This would mean a shared admissions system across a large number of schools.

The think-tank says that schools that act as their own admissions authorities are less representative of the social and ability mix of their local areas.

Although there are rules to stop schools selecting, it says that administering their own admissions lets schools operate a form of covert selection - allowing popular, oversubscribed schools to draw a more affluent intake.

It says its research shows that faith schools that operate within local education admissions systems are more representative of their neighbourhoods than those that run their own admissions.

It argues that faith schools should continue to give priority to children from their own religious community, but alongside fair banding.

All fairly obvious stuff, but still aiming for the wrong thing. Unfortunately the education policy of all the main political parties and most of the rest of the chattering classes seems to be an attempt to force middle class parents (excepting themselves of course) to send their children to sink schools, rather than make all schools better. Needless to say, middle class parents are not going to put up with that, and they can run rings around the half-wits that come up with these dreadful admission systems.

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