This was very precisely laid down in section 27 of the Education Reform Act 1988.
The language of the Act is too abstruse to reproduce here, but the gist of it is that the standard number refers to the number in the relevant age-group, either in 1979, or, if the school was opened after that date, to the number established at the opening.
Changes in existing standard numbers can only be made by the Secretary of State and the Act lays down the process for seeking such changes.
The choice of 1979 was not accidental: in national terms, that year saw the highest level of admissions during the period preceding the passage of the 1988 Act. Thus, popular schools were given the maximum opportunity to expand.
When an excluded pupil is being represented at an appeal hearing by a solicitor, what papers must the school provide to that solicitor?
In the case of an exclusion appeal, the appellant (or his representative) is entitled to have copies of all the documentation which will be placed before the panel hearing the appeal. The parents (and their representative) are entitled to see the pupil's school file, whether or not it is being used at the hearing.
Archimedes. Questions should be sent to Helpline, The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY. Fax: 0171-782 3200.