Admissions must change, Durand told

Durand Academy in south London has been told it has to stop giving preferential primary school places to children who have attended its nursery school.

The school was reported to the Office of the Schools Adjudicator by a member of the public querying the compliancy of its admissions protocol.

The third criteria in its oversubscription policy, which denotes what preference the school gives to children when there are too many applicants, said: “a child on roll in the Durand nursery in the current year (when admissions are considered).”

On reviewing the case, adjudicator David Lennard Jones said this was unfair to parents who chose a different early years provider, who did not want their child to attend any early years setting or who chose the school’s nursery but did not gain a place.

Last month the Education Funding Agency told the academy that it would face limits on its spending powers if a “clear conflict of interest” was not managed within two months. Headteacher Sir Greg Martin had been grilled by the Public Accounts Commitee over the school’s relationship with GMG Educational Support (UK) Ltd, the management arm of private company Horizons London Ltd, which runs leisure centre facilities on the school’s site.