By the numbers twins and school admissions

2nd December 2011 at 00:00

A revised admissions code has been published that will allow schools to exceed the infant class size limit of 30 in the case of twins or other multiple-birth children.

The change will come into effect in 2013 and was supported by 83 per cent of those who responded to the consultation. With just 7 per cent of respondents disagreeing, it is one of the least controversial changes the admissions framework has undergone.

The former admissions code said primary schools "should ensure in their oversubscription criteria that siblings can attend the same primary schools, as long as they comply with the infant class size regulations".

But the Twins and Multiple Birth Association estimated in 2009 that at least 250 parents were told each year that their children would attend different schools.

The education secretary at the time, Ed Balls, asked the Office of the Schools Adjudicator to look into the issue, saying that it should be generally possible for twins to be allocated primary places together.

The resulting report found that most local authorities would take twins, generally by exceeding the published admission number. But authorities ran into difficulties when, due to class-size regulations, there was a limit of 30 places.

To overcome this, some authorities were "overbooking" classes - airline-style - when twins applied, on the premise that another child would drop out and the limit of 30 would not be breached.

Now twins and multiple-birth children will be added to the "excepted" list of children allowed into an infant class that is already at the legally allowed limit.

MULTIPLE BIRTHS IN 2010

11,050 - twins

170 - triplets

6 - quadruplets.

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