How to set your admission arrangements

Learn how admissions authorities set admissions criteria, how the consultation process works and the deadline for consulting on changes.

Last reviewed on 30 January 2024
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 44028
  1. Who is responsible for setting admissions arrangements?
  2. How admissions criteria are set
  3. Deadline for setting admissions criteria
  4. Changing admission arrangements: requirement to consult
  5. How to consult on admission arrangements
  6. Sixth form admission arrangements

Guidance in this article is taken from the School Admissions Code 2021. The code applies to maintained schools and academies in England. It does not apply to maintained special schools. 

Who is responsible for setting admissions arrangements?

Your school's admission authority is responsible for formally agreeing admission arrangements every year, even if they haven't changed from previous years. 

This is explained in paragraphs 1.49 and 1.50 of the admissions code, linked above. 

Type of schoolWho is the admission authority?
AcademiesAcademy trust
Community schoolsLocal authority
Foundation schoolsGoverning board
Voluntary aided schoolsGoverning board
Voluntary controlled schoolsLocal authority

If you're in a voluntary aided or foundation school, or an academy, and therefore your board/trust is your admission authority, a decision to offer or refuse admission must not be made by 1 individual. The whole governing board, or an admissions committee established by the governing board, must make such decisions.

If your school is undersubscribed, every child