Fair Access Protocol

All local authorities must have a Fair Access Protocol, agreed with the majority of schools in its area, which aims to ensure that children who have not been able to secure a school place during the school year, particularly those who are vulnerable, are offered a place at a suitable school as quickly as possible.  It must also ensure that no school - including those with available places - is asked to take a disproportionate number of children who have been excluded from other schools, or who have challenging behaviour.

The categories of children who are considered ‘vulnerable’ and would qualify for consideration under the Fair Access Protocol are listed below.  Please note that school places for Children in Care, children that were previously in care and children with an Education, Health and Care Plan are handled outside the Protocol.

Eligible children:

i. children without a school place and with a history of serious attendance problems;

ii. children known to the police or other agencies;

iii. children who have been without a school place and out of education for two months or more (and not registered for Elective Home Education);

iv. children of Gypsies, Roma, Travellers, refugees, asylum seekers and migrant workers;

v. homeless children (including those in a registered refuge);

vi. children with unsupportive family backgrounds where a place has not been sought;

vii. children who are carers;

viii. children with special educational needs, disabilities or medical conditions (but without a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education, Health and Care Plan);

ix. children of UK Service personnel and other Crown Servants;

x. children whose parents have been unable to secure a school place within a reasonable travelling distance after moving to the area because of a shortage of places;

xi. children seeking a place in year 11 that have failed to secure one;

xii. children without a school place who for exceptional reasons and in the view of the LA should be considered vulnerable;

xiii. children returning from the criminal justice system or children accessing or previously accessing alternative provision who need to be reintegrated back into mainstream education;

xiv. children that have been permanently excluded or were at risk of permanent exclusion before being withdrawn from a school and are now without a mainstream school place;

xv. children with a history of challenging behaviour that are without a mainstream school place because they have not been able to secure one through normal admissions procedures.

Level 1 is used for vulnerable pupils that remain unplaced, outside the normal admissions round (i.e. during the school year).  This applies to children listed i to xii above that do not also fall under xiii to xv.

Level 2 applies to children listed under xiii to xv that are without a school place - these are children that are considered to have challenging behaviour.

For more information on what happens when an application is received for a child that falls under one of the Level 2 categories, please refer to the Bitesize Guides:

For more information and any enquiries please contact the School Admissions Team using the contact details on this page.