National Ombudsmen
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Ombudsman says Latymer School should admit boy to sixth form

The Latymer School wrongly refused to admit a boy to its sixth form finds Local Government Ombudsman, Dr Jane Martin.

In her report, issued today, she says: “the Government’s School Admissions Code specifically prohibits the School from selecting sixth form pupils based on their behaviour records. As the boy had satisfied the academic requirements to join the sixth form, he should have been admitted.” She says the School should admit the boy immediately.

The Latymer School, in the London Borough of Enfield, selects pupils based on their academic ability and has an onsite sixth form for pupils wishing to pursue post-16 education. It refused to admit a boy – already at the School – to its sixth form because of an incident of poor behaviour in the previous school year that resulted in a temporary exclusion. The School says admission to its sixth form is dependent on good behaviour.

The Government’s Code is explicit that schools cannot refuse an application on the grounds of it prejudicing efficient education unless the school is oversubscribed or, in the case of sixth forms, if the pupil has not achieved the necessary GCSE results. As the boy achieved the requisite GCSE results for entry to the sixth form he could only have been refused admission if the school was oversubscribed. His application would then have to be considered against the published oversubscription criteria. The School failed to follow this process when deciding to withdraw the offer of a place for the boy.

The Ombudsman finds maladministration causing injustice and recommends the School to:

  • admit the boy to its sixth form immediately, and
  • revise its published admission arrangements for its sixth form to comply with the new code on admissions.

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