HC Deb 13 February 2004 vol 418 cc208-9W
Mr. Willis

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many selective schools are also specialist schools; what arrangements are in place for pupils who fail the entry tests to these schools to be able to attend a school with a similar specialism; and if he will make a statement. [154932]

Mr. Miliband

98 of the 1,686 designated specialist schools are selective grammar schools. On the basis of the latest collated information, 40 specialist schools have chosen to select a proportion of their pupils by aptitude.

The admissions process for specialist schools is the same as for all other maintained schools. Applicants must be considered against the school's published admission arrangements, including, where applicable, selection.

If a parent is refused a place for their child because the child fails an entry test to a selective maintained school, they have the right to appeal against that decision to an independent appeal panel.

Local education authorities have a duty to ensure that they provide sufficient schools for the children living in their area who need one. There is no duty to provide schools with a particular specialism.