Code in England children of service personnel who move outside of the normal round of admissions may be admitted as excepted pupils. It is important to note that this only applies to ‘In year’admissions for children already at school elsewhere and will not assist Service parents who are applying for the Reception year under the normal admissions process. It is also important to know that many local authorities are reluctant to exercise this power as standard practice. In these circumstances we would always advise parents to seek specialist advice from CEAS(see below) as appeals against Infant Class Size limits are notoriously difficult to win.

If there are no places available at their chosen school, pupils may be put onto waiting lists for places as well as being offered aplace at another school. Waiting lists are determined by the Oversubscriptions Criteria for each school. By law looked after children must be the first priority for all oversubscriptions criteria as these are deemed to be the children most in need. Under section 1.39A of the Schools Admissions Code Service children may be given priority in oversubscriptions criteria. In practice many oversubscriptions criteria do not mention service pupils or these may come low down the list behind criteria such as distance from school or siblings in the school.

As Covenant Managers and within the wider work of the RAF Families Federation we are working closely with the Department for Education in England, the devolved administrations, the Ministry of Defence and others to continually review the implementation of the Covenant and

highlight ongoing issues for Service parents. If you would like to know more about our specific work in this area please get in touch.

And not to forget Service Pupil premium…. Of course, once parents have navigated the complexities of school admissions and their child has aschool place focus switches to Service Pupil Premium (SPP). SPP was introduced in England under the Covenant to mitigate the impact of Service life on children’s education. Our Covenant Managers are working with all of the partners above to look at SPP,how it’s spent and how it could be used more effectively.For more information please feel free to contact us

For information about school admissions in your local area parents are advised to check the website of their local authority which will have information about who to contact about which type of admission for each school in its area.

All schools admissions in England are governed by the Schools Admissions Code: system/uploads/attachment_data/file/389388/School_ Admissions_Code_2014_-_19_Dec.pdf

For any specialist advice on school admissions anywhere in the UK we would advise parent to contact the MOD Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS). Email: Tel: 01980 618244

Summer 2017 Envoy 25

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