All local authorities are required under the schools admissions code 2021 to have a fair access protocol developed in partnership with local schools. The purpose of the fair access protocol is to ensure that unplaced and vulnerable pupils applying outside the normal admissions rounds are identified and are offered school places quickly.
The fair access protocol operates outside the arrangements for co-ordinated admissions and is put into effect when a parent of an eligible child has not secured a school place via the in-year admission procedures.
Where a governing body does not wish to admit an in-year applicant with challenging behaviour into a vacancy, they must refer the case to the local authority for action under the fair access protocol.
The allocation of a place in accordance with the fair access protocol does not override a parent’s right to apply for a place via in-year admissions or to appeal against the refusal of a place at any schools for which they have applied.