All applications outside the normal admissions round must be considered as a matter of urgency. We have a policy called Fair Access Protocol to ensure that children without a school place, particularly those deemed vulnerable, are found a place as soon as possible.
The protocol exists for those who cannot obtain a place through normal admissions procedures.
In most cases a formal decision to offer or refuse a place must be made and notified within 10 working days.
Fair Access Protocols exist for those children who cannot obtain a place through normal admissions procedures, as outlined within the In-Year co-ordination arrangements, to ensure that:
- access to education is secured quickly for children who have no school place but for whom a place at a mainstream school or alternative provision is appropriate
- all schools in an area admit their fair share of children with challenging behaviour, including children excluded from other schools
- local authorities and schools work together in partnership to improve behaviour, tackle persistent absence and help support improving behaviour partnerships
- balance is struck between finding a place quickly, when the place might be in an undersubscribed school or one facing challenging circumstances, and finding a school place that is appropriate for the child
- no school, including those with places available, is asked to take a disproportionate number of children who have been excluded from other schools or who have challenging behaviour or who are known to have a history of behavioural problems.
Definition of challenging behaviour
In consultation with the Peterborough Secondary and Primary Heads a Peterborough definition of challenging behaviour has been agreed as follows:
A child with challenging behaviour in Peterborough will be identified as such in the following circumstances:
- A child subject to a managed move;
- A child previously permanently excluded from school;
- A child currently attending a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) in Peterborough or another local authority area;
- Children from the Criminal Justice System or attending a PRU who need to be reintegrated back into mainstream education;
- A child identified as being at significant risk of permanent exclusion; or
- A child who is Elective Home Educated (EHE); this is only appropriate where there is evidence that the child meets any of the criteria above.
The School Admissions Code (2014) has identified as vulnerable the following categories as a minimum:
- children from the criminal justice system or Pupil Referral Units who need to be reintegrated into mainstream education;
- children who have been out of education for two months or more;
- children of Gypsies, Roma, Travellers, refugees and asylum seekers;
- children who are homeless;
- children with unsupportive family backgrounds for whom a place has not been sought;
- children who are carers; and
- children with special educational needs, disabilities or medical conditions (but without a statement or Education, Health and Care Plan
How we can help
The Admissions Team can provide further support if you cannot find the answer to your question within these pages.