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Fair Access Protocol Panel - Terms of Reference

Purpose of the Fair Access Protocol Panel (FAPP)

The FAPP will consider all Fair Access Protocol (FAP) cases and monitor and review the local authorities fair access protocol. 

The FAPP will make a decision in respect of which school will be directed to admit the child under the Fair Access Protocol. 

It is important that the FAPP acts within statutory regulations and gathers information which can inform the best decision regarding school placement for each child. 

The FAPP will identify in school attendance order (SAO) cases which school the SAO will be made to.


The FAP Panel is made up of:

  • Head of School Admissions and Transport Service (Chair) 
  • Head of Attendance and Inclusion
  • Family Practitioner Lead (Education Welfare Service)
  • 2 x Headteacher/Senior School Representatives from District not affected by decision          

If members are unable to attend, best endeavours should be made for a representative to attend on their behalf.  

Other professionals may also be invited, as and when required. 

Eligibility Criteria 

The FAPP will consider: 

a) children who have been out of education for four or more weeks and reasonable measures have been taken to secure a school place through the normal in-year admission procedures;

b) children for whom a place has not been sought due to exceptional circumstances, this will also include children where elective home education (EHE) is either deemed unsuitable by the LA and/or children whose parents request a return to mainstream education from EHE and require a school place where the in year admissions process has failed to secure a place at a school

c) children from the criminal justice system

d) children in alternative provision who need to be reintegrated into mainstream education or who have been permanently excluded or are deemed suitable for mainstream education;

e) children who are homeless;

f) children of or who are Gypsies, Roma, Travellers, refugees and asylum seekers;

g) children who are carers;

h) children with special educational needs, (but without an Education, Health and Care Plan), disabilities or medical conditions;

i) children with a Child in Need Plan or a Child Protection Plan or having had one during the preceding 12 months;

j) children living in a refuge or in other relevant accommodation;

k) children in formal kinship care arrangements;

l) children who have been refused a school place on the grounds of their challenging behaviour and referred to the Protocol in accordance with paragraph 3.10 of the School Admissions Code; **

m) previously looked after children for whom the local authority has been unable to promptly secure a school place.

Structure of Meetings , Quorum and Documentation

The FAPP will convene every two weeks on a Tuesday at 4pm by Teams meeting. 

Meetings will be arranged in advance, and papers circulated at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. 

At least 3 members of the panel will need to meet in order to decide on placements. Where a member cannot attend, recommendations may be made in writing to the Chair prior to the meeting. 

If the panel cannot reach a unanimous decision as to the recommended placement then the final decision will be based on the majority view. 

Referrals to the panel should be sent direct to the Panel Administrator by the Thursday evening prior to meeting being held. 

The Caseworker/Lead Practitioner presenting the case will be responsible for collating the relevant papers (see above) for their case and submitting within the agreed timescales.

Management of Information 

All decisions will be recorded by the caseworker/lead practitioner in the child’s record held on Capita ONE. 

All information is confidential and must not be shared outside of the meeting.

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