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Secondary school admissions in England 2001 to 2008: changing legislation, policy and practice

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The distribution of pupils amongst schools is fundamental to concerns about equality of educational opportunity and it is for this reason that the process by which pupils are admitted to schools is of significance. This paper focuses on admissions criteria and practices used by English secondary schools in 2001 and 2008 in light of changes to legislation and the regulatory context. In 2008, unlike 2001, virtually all schools gave priority to children in care and very few used interviews. In a minority of schools, predominantly those responsible for their own admissions, criteria designed to ‘select in’ certain pupils were used, with partial selection by aptitude/ability increasing over time. An analysis of ‘supplementary information forms’ revealed that a minority of schools requested information that was prohibited and unrelated to admissions criteria. Notwithstanding some positive impacts, further changes could make the admissions process easier for parents/carers and enhance equality of educational opportunity.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/41666/

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