Ban on interviews urged to stop selection by schools

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Pre-admission school interviews should be banned to reduce covert selection by comprehensives, says a new paper published today. The controversial assertion by academics at the London School of Economics would mean that schools such as the Oratory, the London grant-maintained school attended by the Prime Minister's son, would no longer be able to interview pupils and parents to confirm their religious affiliation.

Schools which do not stick to their published admissions criteria, should be fined, the paper also proposes.

David Blunkett, the Secretary of State for Education, has promised a review of admissions policies to ensure that they are fair and open after a recent Audit Commission report said admissions were in "gridlock".

At present, church schools and opted out schools are free to decide their own admissions policies. One in five parents fails to get their first choice of school.The fairest system, says the paper, would be for one body - probably the local authority - to control all admissions in an area

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