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Volume 501: debated on Wednesday 2 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what guidance he has issued to (a) early years providers, (b) primary schools and (c) secondary schools on meeting the needs of multiple-birth children; (302516)

(2) what guidance he has issued to schools on involving parents of multiple-birth children in decisions on which classes their children should be in.

The school admissions code, mandatory for maintained primary and secondary schools, addresses the needs of children from multiple births in the school admission process. It states that admission authorities should take children from multiple births' needs into account when deciding which admissions oversubscription criteria will be used.

The chief schools adjudicator recently reported to the Secretary of State on the admission of twins and children from multiple births. He recommended that the list of "excepted pupils" in the class size regulations be extended to include twins and multiple birth children, to ensure that they can be placed in the same infant school.

He also recommended that all admission authorities must be required to consult on, and publish arrangements for the admission of twins and children from multiple births as part of their overall admissions consultation. The Secretary of State accepted these proposals and following a public consultation will seek to amend the school admissions code at the next opportunity.

The School Admissions Code does not apply to early years providers and no guidance on children from multiple births has been issued to such settings.

It is up to individual schools to determine which classes children from multiple births should be placed in.