ASCL response to EPI report on school appeals

11 April 2019

Responding to a report by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) about the school appeals and waiting list system in England, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: 

What this report shows us is that there is often a scramble going on for places in schools which are rated as ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, and that children from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to lose out to more affluent families who can afford to live in areas near these schools.

We are not convinced that an overhaul of the admissions system will deal with the root cause of this issue. We need to secure sustainable improvement in struggling schools so that all children have access to good local provision. 

An essential starting point is to scrap the current Ofsted system of rating schools as ‘inadequate’ and ‘requires improvement’ as these labels stigmatise them and make it harder to attract teachers, leaders and pupils. We need a system which is built upon the principle of providing the very best support to these schools and it must be backed up with sufficient funding.”