open enrolment

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A policy which may be operated by schools of admitting the maximum number of pupils which their capacity allows if there is demand from parents that they should do so, even in the situation where there are falling rolls, and therefore spare places, in neighbouring schools. The Education Reform Act 1988 encouraged schools to adopt this practice as a response to the demands of the market, the assumption being that if excellent schools were fully subscribed to the detriment of others in their area, those less popular schools would be forced to improve their standards of provision in order to compete or even survive. In this way, it was argued, national standards of education could be raised. See also choice.

Subjects: Education.

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