School Admissions - What Does “Banding” Mean?

Author:
Emma Davies
Associate, Chartered Legal Executive, Education and Community Care
Date:
01/03/2019

When deciding how to allocate places at schools, the Admissions Authority is allowed to use a system called banding.

This is where children sit a test at the school, but they don’t have to pass it, as is the case with Grammar Schools. The school then places each child in a ‘band’ according to the score they achieved and allocate a percentage of places available in the school to each band.

The banding system is intended to be used as a method for allocating places evenly across all abilities, and the way in which the bands are used should be clear to parents and set out in the school’s admission policy.

There are also a number of other rules that Admissions Authorities must comply with, as set out formally in the School Admissions Code 2014.

However, schools will often mix banding with other criteria, which makes it difficult for parents to see why their child hasn’t been given a place at their chosen school. At worst, it can make the school’s allocation system unlawful.

If your child hasn’t been allocated a place at your preferred school and you’re concerned about the system used, you can raise these issues as part of a school’s admission appeal. This is because the Independent Appeal Panel (IAP) who deal with school admission appeals must consider both the lawfulness of any admissions criteria and also whether they’ve been applied correctly in each case.

If you’d like legal advice on the banding system your preferred school uses, or would like assistance with a school appeal, our Education Law Solicitors can help you.

For more information see School Admission Appeal Case Studies.

For legal advice call our Education Solicitors

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