Adopted children from abroad could get priority in school admissions

West Hove Infant School By Paul Gillett
West Hove Infant School By Paul Gillett

Plans to give children adopted from abroad a higher priority in school admissions is being discussed by Brighton and Hove City Council.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb wrote to education authorities in December 2017, asking them to give youngsters who were previously cared for by the state in another country the second highest priority in school admissions.

Children who are or have been in local authority care in Britain already have the highest priority when it comes to finding a school place.

Before the changes can go ahead the council’s children, young people and skills committee needs to agree on Monday (September 17), to carrying out a public consultation into changing its admission arrangements.

The consultation must take place between October 1 and January 31 2019 as the authority must have its admissions police for 2020/21 in place by February 28 next year.

Consultation into the admission arrangements has to be carried out at least once every seven years even if there are no changes.

The current requirement is to give priority to looked after children and all previously looked after children who been adopted or have a residence order or special guardianship order.

This year 20 children had the highest priority when places at secondary schools were allocated in the city. The report does not say how many would fall into the new category.

At the moment for secondary, primary, infant and junior schools, children with medical or exceptional reasons for attending a particular school are given the second highest priority.

Children with a brother or sister at the school are given the third highest priority.

Applications for new pupils applying for primary and junior school places in 2020/21 open on  September 1 2019 and close on January 15 2020

Secondary school applications also open on September 1 2019 and close on October 31 2019.

The committee meets in public at Hove Town Hall from 4pm on Monday.

Sarah Booker-Lewis is the Local Democracy Reporter for Brighton & Hove.

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