The draft guidance proposes two key changes to the existing arrangements with the aim of increasing choice and diversity and responding to the wishes of parents.
The first proposal is to increase from ten to 15 per cent the proportion of a school's intake which may be selected with reference to aptitude or ability. This could be done without constituting a significant change of character which would require the publication of statutory proposals.
The second is a proposal to dispense with the requirement for GM schools to seek the secretary of state's approval before making changes to their admission policy, bringing procedure for them in line with those currently available to other maintained schools.
Commenting on the proposals, the minister for education in Wales, Rod Richards, said: 'The proposed new guidance is shorter than that contained in the existing circular. It reflects our belief that increasingly central guidance should be restricted to that which is essential to enable LEAs and schools to undertake their functions, and to allow them as much flexibility as possible to determine their own arrangements in the light of local circumstances.
'The new freedom will help schools to respond to parents' wishes and to increase diversity and parental choice.'