We hope that the following will support you in reviewing your admissions arrangements.

Schools' admissions policies are not decided at a national level. They are set at a local level so that they can take into account the specific needs of their communities. See the table below for who is responsible for admissions (the admissions authority) in each case. 

Type of School  Who is the admission authority?  Who deals with complaints about arrangements?  Who is responsible for arranging / providing for an appeal against refusal of a place at a school? 
Academies  Academy Trust Schools Adjudicator Academy Trust

Voluntary Aided schools 

Governing body 

Schools Adjudicator 

Governing body 

Foundation Schools 

Governing body 

Schools Adjudicator 

Governing body 

Voluntary Controlled schools 

Local Authority 

Schools Adjudicator 

Local Authority 

Community Schools 

Local Authority 

Schools Adjudicator 

Local Authority 

Diocesan Guidance

  • Admission authorities must ensure that they are conversant and compliant with the School Admissions Code 2021.

  • In developing and reviewing admissions arrangements, governors should ensure that the arrangements and oversubscription criteria reflect their Christian vision.

  • Our guidance is that schools should use the Church of England Admissions Builder Online Toolkit in creating or reviewing their admissions arrangements.

  • Schools that wish to use faith-based oversubscription criteria should take note of Diocesan guidance on the matter. The document can be read here.

  • We recommend that admissions arrangements are reviewed annually. We provide a document with some key questions to support governors with this. The document can be read here.

  • We strongly recommend that admissions matters and key dates are embedded into the operational plans/calendar of the governing board.

All admission authorities must formally agree their admission arrangements every year, even if the arrangements have not changed from the previous year, see dates below.

Changing Admissions Arrangements

It takes around 24 months to review, consult and implement new admissions arrangements. So to implement changes for admission entry in September 2025, a governing board would be starting the process in the Autumn term of 2023.

If admissions arrangements are to be amended, these must be sent to the Diocese for comment prior to any consultation. Send it to by the end of September to allow the team sufficient time to review and respond before consultation.

If the admissions arrangements are being amended, a consultation must take place. Consultation must be held at least once every seven years regardless of changes.

Public consultation must last for a minimum of 6 weeks between 1 October and 31 January in the determination year, i.e. before you make your final decision by 28 February.

 The consultation process, included who should be included, is clearly set out in the School Admissions Code but we offer a guidance document to support you too. This document is available here.

Once admission authorities have consulted and formally determined their admission arrangements and recorded this in the minutes of the relevant governors/trustees meeting, they must notify the appropriate bodies and publish a copy of the arrangements on their website displaying them for the whole offer year (the school year in which offers for places are made). 

Key Deadlines/Dates

  • Consultation window 1 October and 31 January

  • Deadline to formally determine admission arrangements 28 February

  • Deadline to publish on school website 15 March

  • Deadline to send a copy to LA and notify key stakeholders 15 March

  • Deadline for LA to publicise all schools' arrangements 15 March

  • Deadline for objectors to refer cases to the Schools Adjudicator 15 May

For further advice regarding admissions please contact:

Key documents/links

School Admissions Code 2021

Admissions Consultation Guidance September 2023

Church of England Admissions Builder Online Toolkit

Diocesan Guidance on Use of Faith-Based Oversubscription Criteria

Annual review of Admissions Arrangements


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