Families must be free to choose the best preschool place for them says NDNA as report highlights drop in objections against school allocation policies

NDNA has welcomed a downturn in complaints against schools prioritising children attending their preschool nursery for reception places as mentioned in the annual report of the Chief Adjudicator.

Claire Schofield, Director of Policy, Membership and Communications at National Day Nurseries Association said: “It’s encouraging to see a reduced number of complaints but notable that they have all been upheld. It's important that there is a process via the Adjudicator for complaints and resolution. 
“Anecdotally, we do hear concerns on this issue.  Fair access is vital and parents shouldn't be in a position where they feel they have to compromise their choice of early years provider to secure a school place.  

“Families need to be able to choose the preschool place that best meets their wants and needs. Parents and providers also need to be aware of the Adjudicator and their rights.”

Paragraph 33 in the report says that compared to previous years, only a small number of objections concerned priority for children who attend the school’s nursery provision. 

In these cases, priority was given to all children attending the nursery as distinct from the explicit  permission to give priority to children eligible for the early years, pupil or service premium and who attend the school’s nursery class or a nursery established and run by the school.  

All the cases were considered on their merits and in the case of those determined by the end of the year, the objections were all upheld. 

Chief Adjudicator Ms Shan Scott’s report to the Secretary of State for Education records the progress made by admission authorities in England in complying fully with the School Admissions Code.

Read the report in full here