Alliance responds to Office of the Schools Adjudicator’s annual report

16th January 2015

Commenting on the Office of the Schools Adjudicator’s annual report, Alliance chief executive Neil Leitch said:

“We are concerned to see that some schools are still giving priority admission to children that have attended particular nursery provision, despite the fact that the Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA) has repeatedly stated that this practice is unfair and constrains parental choice.

“The findings of this year’s report are particularly pertinent given that some MPs have called for primary schools to be permitted to give priority reception admission to children who have attended their own nursery provision. Such a change would put children who attend other types of early years provision at an unfair disadvantage, and place undue pressure on parents to opt for a school-based nursery over a PVI setting or childminder in order to try and ensure a reception place later on.

“Parental choice is a fundamental part of a successful childcare market, and it’s important that the government’s desire for a school-led sector does not undermine this.”

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Notes for editors

- Office of the Schools Adjudicator annual report September 2013 to August 2014

  • The report states that: “The practice of some primary schools of giving priority for admission to the reception year to children who have attended particular nursery provision has again been found to be unfair to other local children, constrain parents’ preferences for child care and pre-school provision and not comply with the general requirements of the Code.” (p8)

- MP calls for priority admission to be given to all children who have attend a school’s own nursery provision, as referenced in Neil’s comment, can be found at the links below.

- The School Admissions Code


  1. The Pre-school Learning Alliance is the largest voluntary sector provider of quality affordable childcare and education in England.
  2. Through direct provision and its membership of 14,000 nurseries, sessional pre-schools and parent and toddler groups, the Alliance supports over 800,000 children and their families in England. The Alliance also develops and runs family learning programmes, offers information and advice, runs acclaimed training and accreditation programmes and campaigns to influence early years policy and practice.
  3. For information about the Pre-school Learning Alliance, visit our website:

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