Monday, 30 May 2011

New school admissions code and twins

I was surprised to read in the Guardian that the draft, new school admissions code includes the guidance that:
"Schools must give priority to children whose parents are in the armed forces, as well as children in care, and ensure twins and triplets are in the same class."
Don't rely on school place lotteries, local authorities are told The Guardian, 27 May 2011
 I've always felt that twins do better if they are in different classes at school but I know that this can depend on twins individual needs. According to a  Twins and Multiple Births Association (TAMBA) report 20% of multiple birth children starting school are allocated to classes (either together or apart) without any consultation with parents. Amazingly around 1% of multiple birth children starting school are offered places in different schools. This equates to almost 200 children per year (The Educational Needs and Experiences of Multiple Birth Children TAMBA 2009)

The new admissions code will allow twins and triplets to be admitted to an infant class
"even if it takes the class over the 30-child limit" DfE Press notice 27th May 2011
so there should be no reason for twins or triplets to be split between different schools. The chief executive of TAMBA,  Keith Reed, says
"We are delighted that the new Government has taken on board our suggestion to add twins and multiple-birth children to the list of infant class size exceptions." ,
Both of my sets of twins started primary school, and secondary school in different classes. Next year my sixteen year old twins are going one step further and have chosen to go to different sixth form colleges. The logistics of them travelling in different directions every day will be a challenge but they have each chosen the course and college that is best for them.

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