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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 June 2006, 00:12 GMT 01:12 UK
Help for parents choosing school
classroom
The government wants to help parents with school admissions
Parents could soon be able to consult specialist advisers for help in finding the right school for their child.

Local authorities in England are being given 15,000 each to employ "choice advisers" to help parents with the admissions process.

From September advisers - employed on a seasonal basis - will start to offer group and one-to-one sessions.

The aim is to reach out to parents who are not aware of relevant information like league tables and Ofsted reports.

The move was outlined in the education White Paper, Higher Standards Better Schools for All, published last October.

That said every local education authority in England would have a network of advisers by 2008.

The education bill currently going through Parliament - with its controversial plans for trust schools - would place a duty on local authorities to help parents with school choices.

Information access

Schools Minister Jim Knight said every parent wanted their child to attend a good school.

"Parents need clear, accessible information to help them choose primary and secondary schools," he said.

"A wide variety of information is already available to help parents make decisions but we know that not all parents are accessing this and many still find it difficult to navigate the admissions system - particularly when it comes to finding a secondary school."

The department says research shows those most likely to avail themselves of the available information are "the educated middle classes".

"Choice advisers will have a real impact on ensuring that all parents are armed with the information they need to find the right school for their child," Mr Knight said.

Local authorities will receive a minimum of 15,000 a year for the next two years.

An additional sum will be allocated to areas of greater social deprivation.




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