Admissions policies

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Open enrolment and parent choice

This is when parents have the choice of which schools they want to go to. This means that as long as the schools have spaces they have to accept anyones place. 


  • Parents get to choose which school they want
  • Increases competition between schools as they all wan to appeal
  • Allows a variety of students in 


  • The best schools get filled up leaving a lot of spaces in other poorer schools
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Admission policies in over-subscribed schools

If a school is over-subscribed pupils then get allowed in due to priority, for example:

  • Care children
  • Brothers or sisters already there
  • Whether they are local 

A problem with this is that usually the most subscribed to schools are the best ones. The better schools are usually located in wealthier areas with middle class people meaning they get into the school. This then leads to people from more disadvantaged areas going to poorer school which creates a divide and reproduces inequalities.

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Covert selection

Tough and Brooks argues that schools take part in covert selection. This is a sort of hidden selection which technally schools arent allowed to do. They get around it by doing it in a non direct way.

To put poorer parents off from applying to the school the school might make its uniform too expensive meaning a lot of people can afford it or they may make information booklets hard to read putting parents off the school as they cant understand it due to poor educational levels themself.

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