Dame Sally Coates urges schools to admit more pupils from poorer backgrounds

TES is reporting that Dame Sally Coates has urged for a school system overhaul and demands schools to admit more pupils from poorer backgrounds. 

Schools should be forced to take a percentage of disadvantaged children that reflects the level of deprivation in their locality, Dame Sally Coates has said. Speaking to TES, the United Learning director of academies in the south of England described the huge variation in the intake of poorer children across schools within the same local authority as “madness”.

“[The current admissions system] doesn’t help social mobility,” she said. “Every middle-class parent, if they’ve got their wits about them, plays the game. And the poor children are always the ones who are left behind.” 

Dame Sally, former head of Burlington Danes Academy in west London, wants a review group set up to overhaul admissions with the publication of wider list of rules that schools have to abide by.

Dame Sally added: “[Admissions is the] thing I feel most strongly about at the moment. It is absolutely in need of a huge overhaul. I feel very angry about admissions.”

More at: Dame Sally Coates urges schools to admit pupils from poorer background

Do you think schools should admit more pupils from poorer backgrounds? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Meena


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Categories: Local authorities, Secondary and Teaching.


  1. Mark Simmons

    Was this unintended consequence of ‘school choice’ ever really unintended?
    I’m with her on this but bussing poor kids to schools with middle-class catchments will have its own problems.
    How about teacher pay proportional to %FSM in some fashion?

  2. The admissions system does need a drastic overhaul.  Not just to ensure all state-funded schools take their fair share of pupils attracting the Pupil Premium but that they take their fair share of previously-low achieving pupils.  Grammars are, of course, deliberately set up to take only high-achievers but there are also many so-called comps who manage to skew their intake to the top end (and have few pupil premium children as well).

  3. As a governor of an improving Academy in Swindon we investigated why one of our local feeder schools was seeing a drop off in the number of pupils coming to out school. The problem was that the parents weren’t filling in their preference form. This wasn’t an issue when we were undersubscribed but now we are oversubscribed this means some of our most deserving local children weren’t getting places. We are trying to do something about this but it shows that these things don’t always happen by design.

Let us know what you think...