How school admission arrangements are set

Admission arrangements are the overall procedure, practices, criteria and supplementary information used to decide how to allocate school places. Admission arrangements for publicly-funded schools must follow the School Admissions Code.

School admission authorities

School admission authorities are responsible for setting and applying admission arrangements. They must make sure arrangements are fair, clear and objective and that parents can understand easily how places will be allocated.

The admissions authority for the school depends on the type of school. 

Admission authorities, responsible for setting and applying admission arrangements
Type of schoolAdmission authority
Academies Academy trust
Community schools Local authority
Foundation schools Governing body
Free school Academy trust
Studio schools Academy trust
Voluntary aided schools Governing body
Voluntary controlled schools Local authority

Schools for which Cheshire East Council is the admissions authority

Consultations on admission arrangements

Admissions authorities must consult on arrangements every 7 years.

They must also consult if they want to make changes to arrangements at any time, unless the change is  to increase the published admission number (PAN) or to correct any arrangements that did not comply with the School Admissions Code.

Consultation must include all the following:

  • parents of children at the school between the ages of 2 and 18
  • other people in the relevant area who in the opinion of the admission authority have an interest in the proposed admissions
  • all other admission authorities within the relevant area (except that primary schools need not consult secondary schools)
  • whichever of the governing body and the local authority is not the admission authority
  • any neighbouring local authorities where the admission authority is the local authority
  • in the case of faith schools, the body or person representing the religion or religious denomination 
  • any other governing bodies for community and voluntary controlled schools in the area normally served by the school

Each consultation must last for at least 6 weeks. It must finish by 31 January of the year before the arrangements will apply, and start on or after the previous 1 October.  

During the 6 weeks, the admission authority must publish full details of the proposed arrangements on their website with details of how to make comments. They must also send a copy of the proposed arrangements to any consultee who asks.

Failure to consult effectively may give grounds for complaints and appeals.

Setting published admission numbers (PAN)

Each admissions authority must set an admission number for the age group at which pupils normally start at the school. They must consult if they want to reduce this number. They do not have to consult if they want to increase the number, but they must tell our admissions team and put details about the increase on the school's website. 

Deadline for agreeing arrangements 

Admission authorities must agree their arrangements by 28 February of the year before the arrangements will apply. This applies whether or not the authority needed to consult. They must then email the arrangements to our admissions team by the following 15 March. 

Admission authorities for faith schools must also send details of the arrangements to the body or person representing their religion or religious denomination.

How to make an objection to admissions arrangements

If you think that a school's admission arrangements are unlawful or do not comply with the school admissions code you can make an objection to the Schools Adjudicator. You must object by the15 May after the arrangements have been agreed.

Admission arrangements for other schools

For complete admission arrangements for academies, foundation, free and voluntary aided schools, see the school's website.

Contact us

0300 123 5012 - option 1

Fax: 01270 686491

School Admissions
Floor 5, Municipal Buildings
Earle Street

Page last reviewed: 24 September 2021