Ensuring that vulnerable children are allocated a school place (Fair Access Protocol)

Last updated: 23 August 2021

Section 3. Children who require reintegration into mainstream school, children with no school place and children faced with barriers to education

An initial check will be made to ensure that the child has not previously been permanently excluded from their last school in which case their admission will be managed as per section 2 of the Fair Access Protocol. Where a permanent exclusion does not apply, the application will be managed by the LA according to the in year admission policy.

If there is a place available at one of the preferences and/or at an appropriate non-preferences school, allocation can be made within that process and the allocation agreed with the appropriate admission authority.

Where the in-year admissions process does not immediately identify an appropriate school to approach, the local authority will review all locally available places prior to approaching the most appropriate school, requesting that the school admit above the admission number.

In this instance, a priority order will be considered for:

  • closest catchment school
  • closest school (if not catchment)
  • other catchment school(s) in distance order
  • next nearest non-catchment school

At each step if the child’s records include evidence of persistent, disruptive behaviour, admission will not be made to a school in special measures. The LA may refer cases to the FAB meeting where no local school place can be identified for decision. The maximum any school would be asked to admit is one child in 30 of the admission number (i.e. one child per class of intake per academic year) for example with an Admission of 180, the maximum the LA would ask a school to admit up to is 6 extra). If any school is already at, or above, this number (for example, as a result of appeals) then the LA will place the child (with transport, if necessary) at the next nearest school and advise the parent of their right of appeal. Following this process will ensure that where the case falls within the transport policy, transport entitlement will match the allocation.