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Cardiff proposes new co-ordinated school admissions process

Cardiff is looking to become the first local education authority in Wales to trial a co-ordinated approach to secondary school admissions, offering parents more clarity when applying to schools.

Currently, the council has separate school application processes running alongside one another for local authority schools, faith schools and foundation schools, making the system complex and often inefficient.

The proposed new system will allow parents to apply for council, faith and foundation schools in one application, with the aim of reducing the number of parents being offered more than one school place for their children.

Cllr Sarah Merry, cabinet member for education on the City of Cardiff Council, said: “At the moment the admissions arrangements in Wales often create situations where parents, through no fault of their own, can end up with more than one offer of a school place.

“By creating a co-ordinated school admissions system, the local authority, faith schools and foundation schools would have access to the same information throughout the process and parents would know exactly where they stood when decisions are sent out.”

Currently, local authorities often have an incomplete picture of applications until schools have made their decision on whether to accept a child, causing unnecessary stress to parents.

This frustration is often compounded when parents fail to get a place for a child at their preferred school, only for places to become available later when other parents are able to give up their offer from the local authority.

The council is holding a public consultation on the proposals which will run until Monday 23 January 2017, with the results due to be considered by the council’s cabinet in March. Members of the public can have their say on the consultation by completing the council’s online survey here.

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