The trouble with basing admissions on exam results (VRT score) is that this would inevitably impact upon sibling priority, as the two are mutually exclusive. This is covered by the Admissions Code and was flagged up in the review of admissions carried out in Bucks last year. At present siblings still have to pass the 11+ to get a place at a Bucks grammar school but are otherwise given priority. If we go back to prioritising according to VRT score then this would not be possible, since it would be unfair to give priority to a sibling who qualified but scored less than, say, a non-sibling. It would also disadvantage applicants who qualify as the result of a successful selection appeal.
Of course, if schools choose not to apply a sibling policy at all, then admitting according to score would be permissable. This is where I hope these new arrangements will make a difference, i.e. the ability for all schools, not just foundation schools, to apply the rules in their favour where they are open to interpretation. For example, for admissions purposes the definition of a sibling in voluntary controlled schools in Bucks, and one which such schools are forced to comply with, varies from the definition used in many foundation schools which have more say in the matter. This has a direct impact on admissions and has resulted in at least three families that I know of being obliged to attend a transfer appeal simply because of a slight variation in the rules between schools in the same local authority.