Guidance to prevent selection

NEW GUIDANCE on school admissions intended to lead to a selection-free Wales has been issued by Peter Hain, the Welsh education minister.

The guidance is linked to the recent School Standards and Framework Act. That legislation will prevent any further schools from selecting children on academic ability from autumn 2000 and will require a review of the selection that already exists. It does not prevent schools selecting on the basis of aptitude.

Only two schools in Wales select by ability: St Brigid's GM School in Denbigh and Cwmcarn GM School in Caerphilly. Once the selection code of practice is in place, in spring 1999, they will have to agree their admission policies with the local authority and the governing bodies of any other voluntary and foundation schools in the area. Disputes on admissions will be considered by the Welsh Assembly.

Mr Hain said he did not believe selection based on academic ability was in the best interests of parents, children or local schools.

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