Admission arrangements is a term used to describe the overall procedure, practices, criteria and supplementary information used by a school admission authority in deciding on the allocation of places in a school.

Timetable for deciding school admissions arrangements

The school admissions system operates on a two-year cycle. With the admission authority required to publish their admission arrangements by, for example, April 2013, for admission to that school in September 2014.

The admission authority, depending on the category of school, can be;

  • a governing body of a school
  • a Free School trust
  • an academy trust
  • a local authority

Parents are notified of the school where their child has been offered a place, either:

  • after the published offer dates for primary schools; or
  • on the national offer date for secondary schools.

If the place is accepted, the child would start at that school in the September of the same year. 

Not offered a place at a preferred school

For those parents wanting to appeal against not being offered a place at their chosen school, please see the advice for parents on the Directgov website.

Admission arrangements - who can object?

Any person, or body, can make an objection to the schools adjudicator when they consider that a maintained school or academy's arrangements are unlawful, or not in compliance with the School Admissions Code or relevant law relating to admissions.

When can I object?

Admission authorities must determine admission arrangements by 15 April every year. Objections to determined admission arrangements must be submitted to the schools adjudicator by 30 June.

It would be helpful if you could submit your objection using the online form which is available via the link on the left hand side of this page.

The schools adjudicator may consider late objections - but only if there is good reason for not meeting the deadline of 30 June.

Why might I object?

There are many ways in which school admission arrangements could potentially be in breach of the mandatory elements of the School Admissions Code - published by the Department for Education. 

What happens next?

The schools adjudicator will consider all evidence provided before reaching an independent decision within the law.

All decisions made, on all cases submitted, are published on this website. The legal determination will contain the decision and the reasons behind that decision.

Right of appeal

When the decision is published it can only be challenged by a Judicial Review through the Administrative Court (a division of the High Court), and must be made within three months from the date of the determination.

The Judicial Review can only be made on the basis of the process followed in making that decision, and not the decision itself.