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Plans to stop twins being separated among Suffolk school admissions plans for 2022

PUBLISHED: 15:49 05 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:50 05 October 2020

Suffolk County Council has launched a public consultation on school admission criteria for 2022/23. File picture: THINKSTOCK

Suffolk County Council has launched a public consultation on school admission criteria for 2022/23. File picture: THINKSTOCK

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Proposed school admission rules in Suffolk for 2022/23 have been published, with measures to help prevent twins being sent to different schools among the proposals.

Suffolk County Council cabinet member for education, Mary Evans, urged parents to take part in the public consultation on 2022 school admissions. Picture: GREGG BROWNSuffolk County Council cabinet member for education, Mary Evans, urged parents to take part in the public consultation on 2022 school admissions. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Suffolk County Council has launched a public consultation on the 2022/23 admissions policy, which features two key changes.

The council is aiming to reduce the anxiety parents of twins face over them being sent to different schools, when one may have special educational needs or an education health and care plan.

It is also proposing to ensure practising Church of England families, who are normally prioritised for voluntary-controlled schools which are oversubscribed, do not lose out if their church has not been able to meet because of Covid-19.

Councillor Mary Evans, Suffolk County Council’s Conservative cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills, said: “Parents and carers are now able to have their say on the proposed admissions arrangement for community and voluntary controlled schools by taking part in the consultation.”

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A council spokeswoman said that twins or triplets who could face going to different schools as a result of one possibly needing additional educational needs was not a frequent problem but “when it does happen it can cause significant anxiety for the family”.

She added: “Our aim is to prevent these families from having to prepare to take their multiple birth children to different schools, as this can be very difficult and unsettling given the complex family needs.”

For voluntary controlled schools, parents can submit a supplementary information form (SIF) signed by their local priest to help their application, but the council recognised that with the coronavirus pandemic many families will not have been able to obtain a SIF.

The 2022/23 admissions aim to get round this, but require consent from the Office of the Schools Adjudicator to approve a variation in arrangements.

The changes only apply to voluntary controlled and local authority schools, as academy trusts and governing bodies are responsible for the admissions to academies and free schools.

To see the full admissions criteria and to take part in the consultation, visit the council website here before November 12, or call 0345 603 1842 to request a paper copy.


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