All authorities operate and all schools must participate in an In Year Fair Access scheme. The aims are:

  • to ensure that the needs of vulnerable young people, who are not on roll of any school, are dealt with quickly and sympathetically
  • to reduce the time that hard to place pupils spend out of school
  • to 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 behaviours
  • to be fair and transparent

Who meets the criteria

Children will be considered by the panel when they have no school place and meet one of the following criteria:

  • they are currently attending a learning centre
  • they have been out of education for longer than one school term
  • they have had more than 15 days of fixed term exclusions in the last 12 months
  • they have been permanently excluded

When the panel meets and who attends

Meetings are every 3 weeks and chaired by a lead officer from School Admissions. The panel includes a member/s from the Special Educational Needs Team, Children in Care Service and a head teacher. There should be a minimum of 3 members of the panel present.

The Weymouth and Portland panel includes all secondary head teachers (or a nominated representative).

When an application meets the criteria

  • a request for background information is sent to the existing/previous school. This information is submitted to the panel
  • any school identified on the application as a preference is made aware and invited to provide evidence to the panel

The panel considers the circumstances of the individual application in terms of:

  • preference
  • readiness for mainstream school
  • current pupil numbers
  • transport implications
  • which school is best able to meet the pupil's needs
  • current school profile and previous allocations

Applications will be considered for provision within the local area of the home address. This is to enable a reasonable distribution of children and ensure workable support. It is also to meet the legislative requirements for transport.

Upon determination, the nominated school will be invited to admit the applicant within 15 days of notification, unless in the interim period the applicant is assessed by the school as requiring extra support which is not readily available. Where extra support is needed the applicant will be required to be on roll of the nominated school within 3 to 6 weeks of notification.

For further details please read the In Year Fair Access Policy.

We also have a Managed Move Protocol for children where the move from one educational establishment to another needs to be managed carefully.

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