All local authorities have in place a Fair Access Protocol (FAP) to ensure that ‘unplaced’ children, especially the most vulnerable, can access education quickly.
The operation of FAP is outside the arrangements for coordination and is triggered when an eligible child has not secured a school place under normal in-year admission procedures. The local authority must ensure that no school - including those with available places - is asked to take an unfairly large number of children who have been excluded from other schools or who have challenging behaviour.
There is no duty to for local authorities or admission authorities to comply with parental preference when allocating places through the FAP. However, parental preference will be considered.
In order to identify whether a child meets the criteria of the Fair Access Protocol or whether additional support may be required in school for a successful reintegration, parents are encouraged to complete the questions on the in-year application, providing as much information as possible regarding the child’s previous history.