The evidence considered in previous chapters on the outcomes of each approach to school admissions leads to the conclusion that the democratic expectations at stake in education are too important to be left to either quasi-markets or randomness. The reality emerging, from Chapter Five especially, is an increasing potential in a system premised on ‘choice’ for schools choosing pupils rather than parents choosing schools. Given the market-driven interest of individual schools to attract and retain the ‘best’ pupils, while ‘excluding’ less desirable children via admissions processes or via subsequent action, the interests of already vulnerable groups, such as children with special educational needs, or with the highest socio-economic deprivation indicators, might be thought to be especially at risk. The limited ability of the legal system to act autonomously so as to provide safeguards adequate to ensure integrity and accountability is identified, and the need for clarity over fundamental values reasserted.
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