School Admissions Code


Every year the Depart for Education release a document or a revision of the School Admissions Code. This document was originally designed to provide a fair, straightforward and level playing field for all school admissions to follow across the country regardless of the local council area.

However for many parents who have reviewed this document and the associated documentation they will have found it very difficult and complex to follow. The code is designed for local authorities as they are the admission authorities for community and voluntary controlled schools. The code also applies to Trust schools, Academies and Independent schools  with state funding.

The school admissions code covers

  • Fair Access in School Admission Arrangements
  • Setting Fair Oversubscription Criteria
  • Co-ordination and Fair Access Protocols
  • Ensuring a Fair Admissions System


Local authorities are required to provide assistance and advice to all parents of children of all ages in their area when they are expressing a preference for a school for their child. The School Admissions Code is set out to provide admission authorities (Local Councils) with considerable flexibility to implement and determine  their own school admission arrangements through local consultation.

Local authorities should allow parents to respond  to them regarding the provision of schools in their area and set out any action which the authority proposes to take, or where the authority believes no action is necessary, their reasons behind that opinion. Local authorities must determine how to carry out these duties in the light of their local circumstances.

All schools must have an admission number for each relevant age group. This is defined in law as an age group in which pupils are or will normally apply to the school in question . It may be necessary for some schools to have more than one admission number. Where a secondary school operates a sixth form and admits children from other schools at age 16, for instance, an admission number will be required for Year 12 as well as for the main year or years below.

The school admissions code is design for local authorities and parents when reading the document always ensure you are viewing the current version and liase with your local authority to see if they can provide the help and support you require as outlined in the code.