Sir Peter Newsam, chief adjudicator, has refused permission for the tests to be run a month before parents are allowed to express a preference for their child's school. He backed a complaint by the governors of Cuthbert Mayne - a joint Catholic and Anglican school in Torquay. They claimed running the tests early would enhance the interests of Torbay's three selective schools over its four comprehensives. But Sir Peter said his decision was based on upholding the law rather than on a principle of selection.
Decisions on admissions arrangements at 46 schools in 12 authorities are now due - with an announcement on partial selection in Wandsworth, London, expected next week.