'Priority admission' removed from oversubscribed faith schools

Stock image. Picture: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire.

Admission rules will change for faith schools from next year - Credit: PA

Practising Church of England families will no longer get priority admission at oversubscribed faith schools in Suffolk from September 2023.

Suffolk County Council’s cabinet on Tuesday agreed changes to school admissions criteria for oversubscribed CofE schools or those for any other church under the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Historically, CofE schools which are oversubscribed have been able to prioritise families who have attended the local church for a year or more over other pupils.

However, a joint decision with the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocesan Board of Education agreed the time was right for a consultation on the criteria.

That survey in the autumn resulted in 68.4% of respondents, mostly parents, agreeing with the change and 31.6% against.

Rachel Hood, cabinet member for education, said it was "a slight change that will hardly affect any children at all".

She added: “It was felt that was inappropriate. There was a consultation and it was agreed there shouldn’t be that sort of priority.”