Select Committee on Education and Skills First Report

5  Choice and admissions

88. Admissions take place in the context of a policy which enables parents to express a preference for the school they wish their children to attend. This is usually described in shorthand as choice, which is where problems begin to arise. Parents have a right to nominate a favoured school or schools, but do not have the right to a place at that favoured school. Many of the tensions over admissions arise from this situation.

89. The Government's policy derives from the belief that choice is desirable. The White Paper's argument is that certain sectors of the population are able to exercise choice more effectively than others, and so those who do not currently exercise choice effectively should be helped to do so.

Helping people exercise choice

90. There are two main strands to the Government's policy on this. One is to provide improved advice and information, including, for those who are considered likely to need most help, the introduction of choice advisers:

"people based within the community who can offer independent, unbiased advice and raise the interest, expectations and aspirations of those who may not previously have felt they had any real choice. By 2008, every local authority will have a network of choice advisers in place. We will provide £12 million over the next two years to support this; and we will work with local authorities to ensure that choice advisers target disadvantaged areas and parents."[75]

91. The DfES told us:

"We are keen to allow local authorities discretion over the delivery models they might use—for example, an authority might choose to contract with the local voluntary and community sector, develop the work of the Children's Information Service or develop the role of school based staff, such as home school link or parent outreach workers. The choice adviser will offer advice to parents that is impartial and in the interest of pupils and parents, independent of any local political or administrative pressures. We are in the process of developing guidance for choice advisers and exploring mechanisms to safeguard independence such as training, accreditation and quality assurance."[76]

92. The second strand is the extension of rights to free school transport, to enable children to travel easily to schools further afield, on the grounds that if parents are being encouraged to exercise choice in expressing a preference for a school, then the physical means of travelling to school should not form a barrier. The proposal is that legislation will be introduced:

"to entitle disadvantaged pupils (eligible for free school meals or in receipt of the maximum level of Working Tax Credit) to free transport to any of the three suitable secondary schools closest to their home, where these schools are between two and six miles away. This will not affect the existing transport rights of parents who are eligible for free transport to their nearest school".[77]

93. If the allocation of places in the school system is to be driven by parental choice then the Government should make the system as equitable as possible. There has been criticism of some aspects of this proposal, but for poorer families choice without mobility is no choice.[78] We are unsure about the role of choice advisors and wish to see indicators that their work will be targeted effectively towards those parents and pupils who are so far not engaged in the system despite all previous measures. They should be proactive outreach workers, targeting parents in areas of social deprivation, rather than reacting to approaches from parents. One concern is whether the level of funding will be sufficient to provide adequate numbers of advisers, whichever model for delivery a local authority chooses. £12 million over the next two years is about £40,000 per local authority per year, which suggests the advice is going to be spread thinly. We ask the Government to examine the case for index-linking this funding to inflation and to ensure that its effectiveness—and the possible need substantially to increase it—is monitored by an external body.

94. On transport, if eligibility for free school meals is to be a criterion then families may be reluctant to take up the offer. Families do move in and out of eligibility for free school meals, and having to pay for bus fares at a later date might have a significant impact (bus fare of £1, for example, would mean a weekly cost of £10 per child).

95. We are pleased that the Government has announced pilot projects to develop extended school transport plans for all pupils.[79] We look forward to seeing the models adopted for the pilots, and we recommend that these issues of eligibility are examined thoroughly.

Constraints on choice

96. There are other issues. Many schools are already oversubscribed. It must be likely that if more parents are encouraged to exercise choice then these schools will become even more oversubscribed. There are proposals in the White Paper to allow schools to expand more easily, but not all schools will want to take that option. Sir Alan Steer, for example, said that he would not want his school to increase in size.[80] So one of the questions is, how can choice be extended without other pupils and parents being disadvantaged? A second and perhaps more often expressed worry is that the increased emphasis on choice will give an increased advantage to those parents who are already adept at achieving their aims in the system and that children from disadvantaged backgrounds will fare no better and may possibly be worse off. Until such time as the distribution of able and well motivated pupils between schools is better balanced, and the vast majority of schools are considered by parents to be of acceptable quality, there are likely to be schools that are regularly oversubscribed. The aim must be to ensure that the admissions process is as fair and transparent as possible. We therefore recommend that the Government looks at the possibility of introducing anonymised admissions.

97. Real choice is only available if there is more than one school to which parents would be happy to send their children and in many areas, especially rural communities, there is no more than one school within reasonable travelling distance. If there is one school parents desperately want their child to be admitted to, and no others which they consider acceptable, then there is no choice at all. The Government therefore needs to focus on making every school a school to which substantial numbers of parents are happy to send their children. The goal should be to achieve the best combination of a diverse range of schools with equitable capital and revenue funding, balanced intakes and a scrupulously fair and transparent admissions process monitored by the local authority and admissions forum in each area and (we suggest later in the report) by the Schools Commissioner nationally.

98. The Government does say that "we must ensure that there are more good places and more good schools".[81] This raises the question of what a 'good school' is. Professor Gorard noted that it is schools facing the most challenging circumstances which are most likely to be classed as failing:

"The last time I looked at the schools that were being put through special measures and so on, they were disproportionately inner city schools with high levels of disadvantaged children and so on."[82]

99. What tends to happen is that the schools which face the most problems find it difficult to attract pupils and those that do go there are likely to be from disadvantaged backgrounds. Parents will seek to have their children accepted at other schools with lower levels of disadvantage and better academic results. This leads to a move away from inner city schools, which find themselves contracting or closing, to suburban schools, which prosper.

100. It is therefore in more deprived communities which may have a particular need for a school as a community resource, and which are the communities that the extended schools programme is mainly designed to reach, that there is the greatest likelihood that a school will struggle or close. The White Paper does not address this issue. The logic of the extended schools programme is that those schools should draw their intake from their locality rather than from across a wide area. It is also the case that the school improvement mechanisms available to reasonably effective schools are not always available to schools facing the most difficult circumstances. For example, they could not seek to become a specialist school, with the extra funding that that provides, until they had improved.

Pupil funding

101. One answer is to provide an increased level of resources for disadvantaged pupils, giving an incentive for schools to take individual pupils. The Secretary of State said that the White Paper does announce extra resources to follow those children who have the lowest prior attainment when entering secondary school. This money, £335 million by 2007-08, is to fund activity in Key Stage 3 and will be targeted at the "local authorities with the largest numbers of underachieving and deprived children; and [we] will expect them in turn to review their local funding formulae to ensure that they properly recognise the greater needs of the most challenging schools."[83] This is a welcome investment, but it will not reach children from similar backgrounds living in other communities.

102. In reply to a written question on this issue, the DfES said that:

"The Government believes that decisions on the division of resources between schools and for pupils are best taken at local level, so as best to take into account local circumstances."[84]

We agree. We recommend that the Government should develop with local authorities a system to direct additional funding at individual pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds wherever they live, possibly using local funding formulae.[85]

Planning school provision

103. There is a further potential tension in policy. Academies, in which the Government has great faith with numbers due to expand to at least 200 by 2010, are designed to improve educational attainment in areas where it has traditionally been low and to provide investment in disadvantaged communities. Allowing schools to expand in line with parental choice may, it has been argued, be likely to encourage a move away from those disadvantaged inner city communities to suburban schools. There is clearly a vital role here for local authorities in planning provision. They must retain sufficient powers to manage the process and balance pressure from parents and schools to expand. There is a danger that a poorly managed choice agenda could accelerate the flight from schools in deprived areas. This would further disadvantage those who are already disadvantaged in education.

104. The Audit Commission, in its response to the White Paper, addresses this point directly, and also addresses the question of cost:

"The expectations of users should be realistically managed and grounded in provision which is affordable and does not result in poor value for money. There needs to be a managed balance between the supply of and demand for school places…The consequence of effective management of school places, in order to strike a balance between supply and demand, inevitably impacts on the scope of available choice…There needs to be a balance between the ability to respond to the exercise of choice and the ability to meet the cost of maintaining the capacity with which to respond."[86]

105. The question of the management of school places is inseparable from the issues related to the nature of the independence of Trust schools and the powers of prospective sponsors. It would be damaging if Trust school status, for example, could be used by a school to avoid a planned closure or amalgamation recommended as part of a local authority's managed response to demographic change.

106. There will be significant demographic change over the next decade when the number of teenagers is expected to drop by approximately half a million. If the Government's choice agenda leads to popular schools expanding then it must mean that failing schools must contract and have more surplus places. Demographic change could make smaller, sink schools unviable and there will not be capacity in the popular schools to absorb extra pupils. The Government needs to have the consequences of this demographic change in mind in its plans for the schools system. We recommend that the Government publishes a costing of the surplus places that may arise because of this demographic change.

107. It is not now possible, nor do we suggest that it would be desirable, to do away with preference and 'choice' in the system and seek to have a more prescriptive method of allocating children to schools. We do, however, have some concerns about the policy. The Government believes that choice will deliver general improvement through the individual preferences of individual parents.

108. Parents are not an homogenous group; in each area they will have competing and conflicting demands. It must surely be a joint responsibility of central and local government, however, to ensure that this process is managed in the best interests of the overwhelming majority of children. Competing interests must be balanced, and parental choice maximised, by the removal of those constraints which prevent fair access to all the schools in the local system. There is also a duty to ensure that, so far as possible, children gain admission to schools through a fair and transparent process, which we turn to now.

The admissions process

109. In Chapter 3 of the White Paper, on Choice and Access for all, the Government says that one of the keys is the promotion of "fair access to give parents access to a wider range of schools."[87] What, precisely, does this mean?

110. The statutory basis for school admissions is set out in sections 84 to 86 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. These sections give all parents the right to express a preference for the school at which they want education to be provided for their child and lay a corresponding duty on the admissions authority for that school, the local authority or governing body of a school which is its own admissions authority, to admit that child unless one of three reasons apply.[88] A parent of a child not admitted for any of these reasons has the right of appeal to an independent appeals committee.

111. The process of admissions is currently governed by the School Admissions Code of Practice. This sets out what is good practice and what is poor practice, and admissions authorities are required to have regard to it when setting their admissions arrangements. If there is concern that an admissions authority (which may be a local authority or may be an individual school) is not following practice as laid down in the Code, then an objection can be made to the Office of the Schools Adjudicator. If the Adjudicator rules against an admissions authority, that authority must conduct the admissions process in accordance with that ruling for one year. After that year, it may change its admissions process, which is then once again open to objection.

112. The Committee in the last Parliament undertook an extensive inquiry into admissions to secondary schools.[89] One of the main concerns expressed then, which has also been expressed during the course of this inquiry, is that admissions authorities do not have to adhere to the Code of Practice but have to have regard to it. This means that, in setting its admissions policy, an authority has to take into account what the Code says on any given issue, but that it can then choose to do something which the Code argues against, if it considers that it has valid reasons for doing so. A recent case in which a school has been allowed by the Secretary of State to continue to interview parents despite the Code's guidance to the effect that interviews should form no part of the admissions process, illustrates what can happen. Our predecessors argued that the Code should be backed by greater regulation, but the Government disagreed, saying that the safeguards that were in place were sufficient.

113. Our concern is that there must be a Code of Practice which can be enforced. There must be effective oversight of the Code and effective sanctions when the Code is breached.


114. The proposals in the White Paper and others made during discussion of it could lead to an increase in the number of secondary schools which are their own admissions authority or even to a situation where all schools were entitled to make their own admissions arrangements. Whatever the merits of this might be, from the point of view of the schools concerned, increasing the number of admission authorities in an area raises two concerns. The first particularly affects parents in urban areas where there are a large number of reasonably accessible and regularly oversubscribed secondary schools. Each of these schools is required to publish admission arrangements, explaining what priority it is to give, in the event of oversubscription, to various categories of applicant. The larger the number of schools with different arrangements for dealing with oversubscription the greater the problems some parents may have in predicting the outcome of any preferences they express.

115. In some areas, these problems are already acute. Increasing the number of admission authorities can only make the situation more complicated. The choice advisers proposed in the White Paper could help parents deal with these added complexities; but adding further complexity to the system goes against the general aim of the White Paper to put parents' interests at the heart of its proposals.

116. The concern is that, without changes to the admissions process, if more schools act as their own admissions authorities they will use that power to choose pupils who are likely to perform well academically. In that previous inquiry, the Committee received evidence that some schools which acted as their own admissions authority set admissions criteria "which appear to be designed to select certain groups of pupils and so exclude others".[90] These criteria included priority being given to children of employees, children of former pupils, partial selection by ability or aptitude and children with a family connection to the school. Professor Anne West from the LSE, who was one of the authors of that memorandum, has submitted evidence to this inquiry, with her colleague Hazel Pennell, giving examples of admissions criteria used for the 2005 intake to secondary schools which show that these practices are continuing.[91] They also cite further research that shows that schools which act as their own admissions authorities have a different intake to those which do not:

"the level of poverty measured by known free school meals eligibility is lower in schools with autonomy over admissions, as is the percentage of pupils with special educational needs, both with and without statements. Moreover, more high attaining pupils entered voluntary-aided and foundation schools in year 7 (age 11) than community/voluntary-controlled schools".[92]

117. The Sutton Trust has also published research which shows that the 200 top performing maintained comprehensive schools have a lower proportion of children of children on free school meals than the areas in which they are situated. Dr Philip Hunter acknowledges the existence of this effect:

"What happens is that oversubscribed schools drift upmarket. That is the natural way that organisations work, I think."[93]

118. The Secretary of State was at pains to emphasise that those critics who said that the proposals for more schools to be their own admissions authorities would enable more selection by ability were wrong: "We outlawed in primary legislation academic selection in 1998."[94] However, the Code of Practice does not explicitly reflect this piece of legislation as it only outlaws selection by academic ability in primary schools. We recommend that this anomaly should be rectified at an early date and we return to this issue later in the report.

119. We accept that it is the case that there could be no extension of selection by ability, in the sense of grammar school eleven plus-type selection, without a change in primary legislation, which it is clear that this Government does not intend to make. It is clear from other evidence, however, that there are legitimate concerns that some schools are using over-subscription criteria to mould the nature of their intakes to maximise the number of pupils who are thought likely to perform well academically or to be "easy to teach". It is also clear that this tends to mean that pupils eligible for free school meals are less likely to be accepted for those schools.

120. In addition, the 1998 Act introduced the power to select by aptitude for all schools which considered themselves to have a specialism. Our previous reports have dealt with this issue at some length and documented the concerns about the ways in which aptitude selection can be use as a proxy for selection by ability.

121. The Secretary of State has attempted to counteract the suggestion that an increase in the number of admissions authorities increases social segregation. In a speech on 24 November, citing a current research project being undertaken by the DfES, she said that

"The preliminary conclusions of our research showed that there is no correlation whatsoever between the number of own-admission authorities and social segregation. … In fact, the preliminary conclusions show that in some areas where the vast majority of schools are community schools, the social segregation has been much higher…"

122. We asked the Secretary of State if we could see the evidence that she was referring to in that speech. She said

"Certainly when it is finished. It is quite a difficult thing to do and there is a lot of technical work going on within the Department to complete that research. It builds on some other research that is in the public domain that we do not feel is very robust actually and we want to take it to the next stage. As soon as it is finished we can do that."[95]

123. It is unhelpful for the Secretary of State to cite evidence from an unfinished research project in support of one of the Government's proposals without being prepared to make the detail of that evidence available to us. Neither we nor anyone else outside the DfES have any idea what this evidence actually shows. Indeed, to judge from the Secretary of State's comments about the amount of work still being done on the project by the Department, she herself cannot have complete certainty about what the final outcome will be. Without sight of the research, the Secretary of State cannot hope to persuade us that the segregating effect of an increase in admissions authorities noted by other researchers does not exist.

124. Evidence does exist that increasing the number of school choices available to parents increases social segregation. Professor Simon Burgess and his colleagues from the University of Bristol found that the greater the degree of choice available in an area, the greater the level of segregation or sorting by social class compared to that in local communities.[96]

125. There is also the example of Sweden, cited by the Prime Minister in his foreword to the White Paper as an example of a country where choice has helped to improve standards (although the Secretary of State said it was not the basis for the White Paper proposals). A survey by the Swedish National Agency for Education in 2003 concluded that increased capacity to choose schools did lead to more segregation:

"school choice reforms are exploited by the highly educated, which affects homogeneity at school level."[97]

126. What then might be done to improve the system? One suggestion has been that the Code of Practice should be made mandatory. Dr Hunter, however, told us that in his view that was not practical:

"My position is that as the code stands at the moment it cannot in toto be turned into some sort of regulation. It just does not work, because bits of it are saying that you can add catchment areas, you can have bigger primary schools. You cannot make a regulation which covers that. But you …can take bits of it and make regulations about those bits—just as last year the bit which was in the code about looked-after children was translated into a regulation. The difference between the code and regulations is that, where you have a regulation the assumption is that there is no exception to that regulation; where you have a code you always have to assume there is an exception somewhere. There may be elements of the code…where the Secretary of State decides, there shall be no exception. It is quite easy in those circumstances to turn that into regulation. But it is not the whole code."[98]

127. We accept that the Code cannot simply be made a set of mandatory rules; it is, after all, a document offering guidance. However, it is important to be more specific about both what is considered to be good practice and what is considered to be unacceptable. As Dr Hunter said, though, it would be possible to take certain elements of it, as with the position of looked-after children, and make regulations about them. The Code's prohibition on the use of interviewing as part of the selection process (except for maintained boarding schools)[99] is one obvious candidate, as interviewing is the easiest way that a school can make sure that it chooses "people like us". We recommend that the Government should bring forward regulations to prohibit interviewing or other proxies for academic selection as a part of the general schools admissions process as soon as possible.

128. There may be other issues which could also be regulated in this way. One issue which concerned the previous Committee was the use of partial selection. This is only allowable in schools which operated it before the passing of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, but the situation has become very confused, as the Government admitted in its reply to the Committee's most recent report on the subject.[100] The situation concerning partial selection has been contentious for some time and we believe that the legislation should be amended to clarify what is and is not allowed.

129. We referred earlier to the recommendations of our previous reports on selection by aptitude. The Government no longer collects data on the extent of such selection and justifies this largely on the grounds that few schools use it. We have not yet been presented with a credible explanation of the distinction between aptitude and ability. This is most unsatisfactory and we believe aptitude selection should now be prohibited in regulations. We also recommend that the DfES re-examines the current Code of Practice to identify what other practices should be more closely regulated, prohibited or, conversely, encouraged.

130. There remains the question of those schools which are specifically permitted by the 1998 Act to select wholly by academic ability. Our previous report dealt with this issue in some detail and we wish to reiterate our recommendations. We welcome the fact that that there is now all party agreement that there should be no new selection by general academic ability.

131. The Government has consulted on a new Code of Practice, but has put it on hold while it considers the responses. We believe that, in the light of our recommendations, the Government should reconsider what the Code should contain and its fitness for purpose, and consult again before implementation.


132. One way to address general concerns about the admissions process would be to give local authorities the duty to monitor admissions arrangements in their areas. Local authorities already have responsibilities which Dr Hunter considered not all of them were fulfilling:

"..we have said to the Department this year that it would be a good idea if they reminded local authorities of their duties to review admission arrangements for all schools in their area every year and to object if they found that those arrangements did not in their view meet the Code of Practice. It seems to us, looking at the cases we have had in the last couple of years, that there are some local authorities that are doing that, but we very much suspect that there are some that are not. The Department wrote around all local authorities a couple of years ago, and I think it is time they did so again, or even made it more overt than that and perhaps put a clear duty on local authorities to do that every year."[101]

133. In order to address what is one of the most serious concerns about the consequences of White Paper proposals, three specific duties should be laid upon local authorities in the way they co-ordinate admission arrangements in their area, as they are at present required to do. The best authorities already do most of this; what is now needed is a means of ensuring that all will in future. Local authorities and admissions forums would be required to monitor closely local admissions arrangements for compliance with the Code of Practice, to make an objection to the adjudicator about any which did not comply and to make an annual report on behalf of the admission forum to the Schools Commissioner.

134. Each local authority should present to the admissions forum each year a review of the admission arrangements for the latest admissions round. This review should include the proportion of parents gaining their first, second or third preference for a school place; the number and location of the children which it had proved impossible to place by a given date and the measures that subsequently had to be taken to place them; the number and outcome of appeals and the location of the schools concerned; general comments on the performance of the co-ordinated admissions scheme and any improvements suggested. Comparison with the performance of previous years and with similar local authorities could also be provided.

135. Admission authorities are at present required to consult and notify well in advance a specified list of schools and other bodies on changes they propose to their admission arrangements. Not all do so in the prescribed way. In place of these arrangements, all admission authorities wanting to alter their arrangements would, by the prescribed date, be required to notify the local authority so that it could include the proposed changes in a report to the admissions forum. The local authority would have a duty to publish this report, including any objections received to the proposed changes, and place it before the admissions forum.

136. Having considered the reports referred to above, the admissions forum, through the local authority, would notify schools whose arrangements did not, in the opinion of either, conform to the requirements of the Code of Practice or, in other ways, seemed likely to affect adversely the efficient operation of the co-ordinated arrangements for the following year. If, within six weeks of being informed of the conclusions of the admissions forum, the school or schools in question did not amend their proposed admission arrangements accordingly, the local authority would be required to make an objection to the schools adjudicator (at present, the admissions forum cannot itself object to the adjudicator).

137. The way in which local authorities carried out these duties would be externally monitored by the Schools Commissioner on the basis of reports made by local authorities. Provided that there is rigorous monitoring, we consider that giving local authorities the duty to monitor the system locally is the most effective way to ensure that the admissions process is fair, as the Government wishes it to be. In particular, we consider that it addresses the argument that more admissions authorities mean more covert selection by ability. However many admissions authorities there are, the key to equity is rigorously enforced fair admissions practices.

138. A further refinement of the system might be to give all secondary schools a place on the admissions forum, whether or not they are an admissions authority, so that they can ensure that they are not disadvantaged by any decisions the forum may make.

139. This process would fit well with one change that the Government is proposing to the admissions process, namely to make the adjudicator's decisions binding for three years rather than one year as at present. We welcome this change. This is also the fixed period the Government is suggesting for the admission arrangements of new schools. This time limit has been criticised in the context of new schools, but there is a logic in having the same time frame for new and existing schools, and if the Government makes it a duty on local authorities to monitor admissions arrangements and to make an objection where the Code is not being observed, we believe the system would be sufficiently robust.


140. We also believe that local authorities should be given another duty. As we have discussed above, the effect of some of the unsatisfactory admission criteria is that children from less advantaged backgrounds do not gain access to some schools in the numbers that one would expect.

141. One way to address the low representation of children from deprived backgrounds in some schools would be for local authorities to set benchmarks for the secondary schools in their areas for the numbers of children on free school meals or whose families are in receipt of Working Families Tax Credit admitted to Year 7 each year. Each local authority would also be required to make a report annually to the Schools Commissioner on the social composition of secondary schools. In turn the Schools Commissioner would report annually on the position across the country, but should also have sanctions where it appears that schools or authorities are not addressing these issues of inequality. This might include requiring a school to use fair banding for its admissions process. It has been suggested to us that the fairest way of deciding who should be admitted to an oversubscribed school is to have a ballot for places. This too might be an option for the Commissioner.

142. As with the benchmarking system operated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England in respect of universities and other HE institutions, these would not be targets, but they would act as a reminder to schools and parents that schools do not operate in isolation from their wider social context. Schools might also adopt the outreach techniques of universities to ensure that every potential pupil who might apply to the school is encouraged to do so.

143. The use of eligibility for free school meals or Working Families Tax credit as the measures of deprivation are relatively crude. We recommend that the DfES works with other government Departments and those outside Government to construct more sophisticated measures of deprivation and disadvantage.

75   White Paper, para 3.12. Back

76   Ev 141, Q 26 Back

77   White Paper, para 3.15. Back

78   See Education and Skills Committee, Third Report, 2003-054, The Draft School Transport Bill, HC 509-I, para 28. Back

79   ibid, para 3.17 Back

80   Q 238 Back

81   ibid para 3.2 Back

82   Q 605 Back

83   White Paper, Paras 4.12, 4.13. Back

84   Ev 141, Q 29 Back

85   Similar to the HEFCE Widening Participation Allocation for higher education. Back

86   Audit Commission response to the Schools White Paper, January 2006. Back

87   White Paper, page 41. Back

88   The three reasons why a child may be refused entry are: that the school is a selective school and the child has not passed the relevant tests; that it is a denominational school and the child has not met the denominational requirements; that the school is full and, in accordance with the school's published admission arrangements setting out the way oversubscription is to be dealt with, the child could not be admitted, for example, without causing unreasonable public expense. Back

89   Education and Skills Committee, Fourth Report, Session 2003-04, Secondary Education: School Admissions, HC 58. Back

90   Ibid, para 62 Back

91   Ev 87 to 88 Back

92   ibid, para 2.4 Back

93   Q 515 Back

94   Q 650 Back

95   Q 776 Back

96   'Sorting and Choice in English Secondary Schools', CMPO, University of Bristol, October 2004. Back

97   School choice and its effects in Sweden, Swedish National Agency for Education, 2003. Back

98   Q 518 Back

99   School Admissions Code of Practice, para 3.16. Back

100   Education and Skills Committee, Fifth Report, 2004-05, Secondary Education, HC 86; Education and Skills Committee, Third Special Report, Session 2005--6, Government Response to the Committee's Fifth Report of Session 2004-05, HC 725, page 18. Back

101   Q 502 Back

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