Guidelines for development and operation of enrolment schemes

These guidelines are issued under section 11G(3) of the Education Act 1989 for the purpose of describing the basis on which the Secretary’s powers in relation to enrolment schemes will be exercised. They replace guidelines issued under previous legislation in March 1999.

The legislation itself provides clear guidance to boards on the development of enrolment schemes. As well as setting out the purpose and principles which the Government sees as important, the legislation specifies a number of non-negotiable requirements which must form part of every enrolment scheme.

It is useful to summarise these before providing guidance on matters which the Secretary will take into account when approving schemes or exercising other powers granted to the Secretary under legislation.

The Secretary has delegated their powers to approve schemes and arbitrate on other matters to relevant managers in the Ministry of Education’s regional and local offices.

Purpose and principles

These are set out in Section 11A. The purpose of an enrolment scheme is:

  1. to avoid overcrowding or the likelihood of overcrowding at the school; 
  2. to ensure that the selection of applicants for enrolment at the school is carried out in a fair and transparent manner; and 
  3. to enable the Secretary to make the best use of existing networks of State schools.

In achieving its purpose, an enrolment scheme must, as far as possible, ensure that:

  1. the scheme does not exclude local students and
  2. no more students are excluded from the school than is necessary to avoid overcrowding.

You can download the guidelines document below. Please email if you have difficulty accessing PDF documents.

Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback