A proposed new School Admissions Code is currently before Parliament and is due to come into force on 1 September 2021.
The proposed Code focusses on in-year school admissions and is, in part, a result of the findings of the Department for Education’s review of children in need and recognition of the support required for vulnerable children in the school admissions process.
The proposed Code requires recognition of internationally adopted previously looked after children (IAPLAC), and this has been added to the definitions of looked after children (LAC) and previously looked after children (PLAC) within the relevant section of the school’s Admissions Policy.
This change must be made by a variation to both the 2021 and 2022 policies, and each variation must be agreed by 31 August 2021. As the changes are contingent upon the new Code coming into force as planned on 1 September 2021, those LGBs agreeing the variation prior to the conclusion of the parliamentary process must do so conditionally i.e., “the variations are agreed conditional upon the Code passing through Parliament”. This saves us undoing the exercise in the unlikely event it is not approved.
The proposed School Admissions Code requires schools to publish details of how the In-Year admissions process will operate. This must be published on the school website by 31 October 2021, and by 31 August in future years.
The In-Year process is already included within the Admissions Policy; it is suggested that this is extracted and inserted under a separate heading of “In-Year Admissions” on the Admissions page of the website, together with an indication of the new time frames below, a requirement placed on all admissions authorities by the new Code: