Children from poor families should be given priority places at primary schools as part of a drive to close the gap between rich and poor, according to HM Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw. Sir Michael said the school admissions code in England should be overhauled to give poor children easier access to the best education.
In a report on early years education, Ofsted said that children from low-income families who are admitted to an adjoining nursery school should then be allowed to jump the queue in the race for full primary places at the age of five.
This directly contradicts current admissions rules that ban the practice because of concerns it requires parents to make vital decisions about children’s education at the age of two or three – when many are unsure which school to choose. At the moment, most parents apply for reception places starting in the September after children turn four.