Changes to the School Admissions Code

Last year the government consulted on changes to the School Admissions Code (the Code). The new Code and associated regulations have been laid in parliament and subject to parliamentary procedure they will come into force 1st September 2021.

The main purpose of these changes is to improve support for the in-year admission of vulnerable children. The changes include introducing more detail on the process for managing in-year admissions; changes to improve the effectiveness of Fair Access Protocols; giving children adopted from state care outside of England equal admissions priority as children who were previously looked after in England (see attached guidance note); and clarification of which address to use for the admission of service or crown servant children.

There are also further minor clarification changes. Here are the links to the draft Code as laid in parliament, the supporting regulations, the Explanatory Memorandum and the consultation response.

Please pay particular regard to paragraphs 1.7, 2.21, 2.23, 2.24, 2.26, 2.27, 2.30, 3.17 and 3.21 in the draft code.

Admission authorities must comply with the Code. If you have any queries/questions please email

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