More academies and free schools turn to admissions lottery arrangements to prevent all the places from being taken by rich parents


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The Independent Online

A growing number of academies and free schools are resorting to lotteries for places to determine admissions, says a report out today.

The report, compiled by the London School of Economics for the education charity The Sutton Trust, shows that ballots and banding arrangements are becoming more popular with schools, in an attempt to stop places at good schools being snapped up by middle class parents who can afford expensive homes nearby.

Under banding arrangements, schools admit an equal number of pupils from, say, up to five different ability bands.

The figures show the number of schools using banding has risen from 95 in 2008 to 121 in 2012/13. A further 42 schools were using random allocation - a lottery - in 2012/13.

The Trust, which campaigns for equal access to education for all children, recommends that more schools should be encouraged to take advantage of these arrangements.

Conor Ryan, director of research and communications at The Sutton Trust, said: “It is encouraging that more schools and academies are using banding and ballots as a way to get a more balanced intake.

“Access to the most popular comprehensives should not be limited to those who can afford to pay a premium on their mortgage or rents.”