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ALL CHANGE FOR LONDON SCHOOLS ADMISSIONS SCHEME

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It is all change for the award winning Pan London Co-ordinated Schools Admissions Scheme, which has been celebratin...
It is all change for the award winning Pan London Co-ordinated Schools Admissions Scheme, which has been celebrating its success in helping thousands of parents and pupils find the secondary school of their choice.

The computerised Pan London scheme is due is to merge with an online London e-Admissions Project at the end of July to form the new London Schools Admissions Service within the London Grid for Learning.

Since work on developing the Pan London scheme began in January 2003, it has helped introduce a more streamlined and fair admissions system for pupils transferring from junior to secondary schools in the capital.

In its first full year of operation it achieved a dramatic reduction in the number of pupils left without a place at a school of their choice with just 4,800 children out of 81,000 pupils left without an offer of a secondary school place by 1 March 2005. This compared with 8,359 having no offer at the same time the previous year.

In March this year the scheme secured further improvements with just 3,055 left without the firm offer of a secondary place and more than 77,000 (93 per cent) receiving firms offers at a school of their choice.

In June the scheme, won the 'best shared service award' at the annual conference of the e-government agency London Connects and it has now been shortlisted for the Public Sector Technology Project of the Year category of the CNET Networks UK Technology Awards 2006 which will be announced later this summer.

The Pan London scheme has been managed by the London Borough of Wandsworth, but from the 31 July it will merge with the London e-Admissions Project to offer an online admissions service for both secondary and primary school pupils.

Ian Birnbaum, director of learning for life at Sutton LBC, who has chaired the Pan London Co-ordinated Admissions Board, said: 'We have been delighted at the success of the scheme in helping ease the anxiety of transferring from primary to secondary school and helping more pupils and parents find places at the schools of their choice.

'The project has been one of the most complex but successful IT projects ever undertaken by local authorities in London and it is has already laid the foundations of further success helping parents and pupils.'

NOTES

A total of 39 councils take part in the co-ordinated admissions scheme which covers all 33 councils in London together with the neighbouring local authorities of Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey and Thurrock.

Prior to the Pan London scheme there was no co-ordination of the date on which offers of secondary school places were made by local education authorities. This meant that some parents held on to more than one offer from different admissions authorities, until they had finally decided which one to accept.

Further information on the scheme is available here.

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