Nottinghamshire Fair Access Protocol

Closed 19 Sep 2021

Opened 4 Aug 2021


Each local authority must have a Fair Access Protocol to ensure that unplaced and vulnerable children, and those who are having difficulty in securing a school place in-year, are allocated a school place as quickly as possible.

In order to give effect to the new provisions in the 2021 School Admissions Code coming into force on 1 September, local authorities must make changes to their existing Fair Access Protocols (FAP).

Because the 2021 Code requires FAPs to be consulted on and developed in partnership with all schools in the area, local authorities must consult all the admission authorities in their area about the changes they intend to take forward before doing so.

Nottinghamshire County Council is interested in hearing the views of all interested stakeholders, including schools, so that these can be considered prior to the final Protocol being agreed.

The consultation will be open from 4 August- 19 September 2021. We appreciate that this consultation period falls over the school holiday. Whilst it is not usual to consult during this time period, the timing of the release of the new code has meant this is unavoidable to ensure that there is  a working protocol in place as soon as possible after 1 September.

The consultation period has been extended into September to allow schools to respond after the return from the summer break.

The current Nottinghamshire Fair Access Protocol was agreed in February 2019. Key changes from that document are:

  1. Introduction - updated to reference new Code and made clear the intention that FAP is used to support the most vulnerable, reference 20 day timescale imposed by new Code.
  2. Overall procedures and context - updated to reference new Code, makes requirement for panels to meet every 4 school weeks and for a representative with decision making authority to attend, update of FAP qualifying criteria in line with new Code, includes requirement to report back applications within 2 days, requires that LA will send out agenda 3 school days prior and gives chairing and minute-taking responsibility to schools.
  3. Requests by school for referral to fair access panel - takes definition of challenging behaviour from new Code, requires school to submit evidence at the time of indicating an intention to refuse otherwise the application must be processed through usual process
  4. Locality panel decision making - updated to include that LA will make placement recommendations to panels, clarifies data that will be brought by LA to support decision making, specifies that children placed under criterion L and no other FAP criteria met will be reported as a separate figure as they are not complex admissions, requirement to identify a place within 20 school days, update to make clear that not all EHE children will be placed through protocol, specifies arrangements should a placement not be agreed or a school does not admit following agreement.
  5. Additional funding - Home to School Travel Assistance updated to reflect current policy
  6. Monitoring and review - updated LA monitoring and review role to reflect how monitoring is undertaken
  7. Appendices- all additional in this proposed Protocol.