School Logo Borough Logo

Leadership Update

and Schools Bulletin

Get in touch

Contact Details


2024 Admissions Policy & Website Audit

2024 Admissions Policy & Website Audit

As you are all aware, the Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA) are the independent body
that oversees the objections to Determined Arrangements policies for schools. Their
judgements, and yearly reports, outline a number of areas each year that are causing
schools to lose challenges.

A number of issues have come up in the most recent reports, and it would be advisable for
all schools to ensure they are compliant with these areas of the Admissions Code.

1. Ensure that your CURRENT admissions policy is online, and signposted from your
admissions page. From 1st September 2024, you should have the Sept 2025
admission arrangements published.

2. Ensure that your policy includes a digital copy of your catchment area map - this
should be the last page of your admissions arrangements/policy. If you do not have
one, please contact us for assistance. It was highlighted in this year’s OSA report
that signposting to your LA or saying ‘available at the office’ is no longer acceptable,
and schools doing this are not compliant with the Admissions Code. The map must
be of a high enough definition that it can be viewed online.

3. Make sure there is a section in your admissions website page regarding appeals,
including who is responsible for hearing them, where the parents can apply, and any
deadlines associated with lodging appeals. It is not sufficient to say ‘contact the
office.’ If the LA hears your appeals, you should be signposting to the appeals
information page. If you manage your own appeals, or run your appeals through your
diocese, this should be explicit on your page, with links to the appropriate application

4. Ensure your definitions of siblings and LAC/PLAC comes directly from the
Admissions Code. If you are unsure if yours complies, please check with us, or check
the relevant parent guide for your phase. The definitions in these guides are
compliant so can be copied. The new guides for all phases will be made available by
15th September 2024.

5. Ensure the details on your school page in your relevant guide is still correct. You
need to send us any updates to this page by August 15th each year - this is a
statutory deadline. The school is responsible for providing the correct information
for these statutory guides, and any discrepancies can be held against you in appeals
and OSA challenges.
6. OAAs - if you manage your own in-year transfers, please make sure your refusal
letters are compliant with the Code. You can double-check your wording here. A
single line in an email /letter saying the year group is full, is insufficient under the

7. OAAs - if you rank and grade your own phase entry applications, and we do not do
your validation, you should be publishing your allocation information on your
admissions website page. You should have the last three years published, including
the lowest criterion and highest distance offered to on National Offer Day. See the
allocation information here for an example of what should be published. Most
secondary schools already do this, but all primary OAAs should be doing this as well.
It has been specifically raised by the OSA as an area of concern.