School Admissions

Our admissions advice team is:
Leanne Gowar, LDBS Governance and Admissions Officer: 020 7932 1159
Anne Messer, LDBS Head of Governance and Admissions: 020 7932 1195

Please reach us on:

The LDBS provides advice to VA schools and academies regarding their admissions arrangements. The admissions authority for a VA school is the governing body; the admissions authority for an academy is the board of trustees.

Admissions authorities have a statutory duty to consult the LDBS before consulting others about their admissions arrangements.

Please refer to our up-to-date guidance on Admissions and Appeals in Church of England Schools:

  • School admissions arrangements must be clearly written, unambiguous, objective and fair. They must comply with the Admissions Code, the Equality Act 2010, and other relevant legislation. They must also explain how parents can appeal against admissions decisions.
  • Admissions arrangements must be reviewed and published annually on the school’s website. They must also be sent to the LA and the LDBS annually.
  • Admissions arrangements must be put out for consultation every seven years, or whenever changes are proposed. Consultation is not required for changes that are necessary due to amendments to the Admissions Code, or to increase in the school’s published admissions number (PAN).
  • There is a clear timetable for consultation, determination and notification of admissions arrangements in any given school year. This timetable is set out below; the LDBS must be consulted before any other parties.
  • Admissions authorities should take a deliberately inclusive approach to admissions, citing their school’s inclusive and distinctive Christian vision. The LDBS strongly encourages no more than 50% foundation places. The guidance provides detailed advice about how to manage place allocation in oversubscribed schools and offers a range of models.
  • The guidance explains how to manage parental appeals and the requirement that admissions panel members and clerks are suitably trained.
  • The guidance offers a sample admissions policy and terms of reference for an admissions committee of the board of governors.


Consultation and Determination Timetable (including in-year admissions deadlines)


Date Process Action
  June-September Consultation Part 1 – with LDBS Admissions authorities must consult the LDBS on any changes to the admissions arrangements, in good time for the LDBS to respond, before consulting others. This consultation happens every 7 years at minimum, and whenever changes are needed.
  1 October- 31 January Consultation Part 2 – with LA and wider audience

After taking account of the LDBS’s response, admissions authorities must consult:

  • The LA
  • All other admissions authorities in the relevant area
  • Parents of children aged 2-18 in the relevant area
  • Others whom the admissions authority deems to have an interest in the arrangements, including local churches where church criteria change.

The consultation must be posted on the school’s website for a minimum of 6 weeks between 1 October and 31 January. The latest date for consultation to start is therefore 4 December.  

  31 January
  – 28 February
Determination by admissions authority

Admissions authorities must take into account any responses and objections to the proposed arrangements. They must vote to determine the admissions arrangements by 28 February. 

  By 15 March Notification of admissions arrangements

Once the admissions arrangements are determined, and by no later than 15 March, admissions authorities must:

  • Notify the LDBS
  • Notify the LA
  • Notify all schools in the relevant area
  • Publish the arrangements on their website

Admissions authorities must also send a copy of the arrangements and supplementary information form to the LDBS and LA. This must occur annually, even when changes have not been made.

  15 March -15 May Objection period

Any person or body that considers the arrangements to be unlawful or non-compliant with the Admissions Code may object to the Admissions Adjudicator.

  From 15 May Adjudication

The Adjudicator determines any complaints about the admissions arrangements, which may result in a direction to the admissions authority to change the arrangements.

  8 August Publication

On an annual basis, admissions authorities must send admissions arrangements information to LA for inclusion in the LA’s composite prospectus, including the supplementary information form.

  31 August

Notification of in-year coordination scheme participation

On an annual basis, admissions authorities must:

  • Notify the LA of whether they want to be part of the LA’s in-year coordination scheme and send the LA all associated information.
  • Publish on their website how in-year applications will be handled.