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Fair Access Protocol

(68 Posts)
katd64 Sat 24-Jun-17 19:48:52

I have a 15 nearly 16 year old. He has been home educated for 2 years due to medical problems and ASD. He now wants to return to school and we applied for a local free school. Three months on we have just been rejected, following no contact from the school, only brief replies from secretary. Anyway is says on letter they have passed application onto the Education authority under the Fair Access Polucy. What does this mean and do I have to contact the local ed authority about this?

user1492287253 Sat 24-Jun-17 19:53:27

it may mean they are full. if so the school passes the application to LA to decide.

katd64 Sat 24-Jun-17 19:55:59

They have vacancies. They said they cannot take him based on the information I provided on application form.

LynetteScavo Sat 24-Jun-17 20:23:09

I'd guess it means they don't want him as they are worried he'd lower their GCSE result if he hasn't been in school ,but can't outright say no. That's just a guess though.

prh47bridge Sat 24-Jun-17 22:55:22

If they have vacancies they should have offered him a place. What information specifically are they referring to? Have they offered you an appeal against their decision? They certainly cannot refuse a place for the reasons LynetteScavo suggests - which isn't to say that isn't the reason, just that it isn't allowed.

The LA will have a Fair Access Protocol designed to find places for children who are hard to place. They will decide which school is best able to cope with your son and offer you a place there.

user1497480444 Sun 25-Jun-17 05:51:27

they can turn him down if they are unable to meet his needs. You do not hve to accept anybody who applies, just because you have a vacancy.

user1497480444 Sun 25-Jun-17 05:54:54

we take a lot of fapped children at my school, who have been turned down elsewhere.We don't always keep them, it is on a trial basis. We have vacancies, but have just failed a fapped boy on his fap placement. We also have children waiting for places else where, for example one local school has vacancies, but has currently got their full quota of children with down syndrome, so we are taking a child with down syndrome whilst they wait for place at the first school

prh47bridge Sun 25-Jun-17 08:29:49

You do not hve to accept anybody who applies, just because you have a vacancy

Yes you do with very limited exceptions. The OP's child does not have SEN which would allow the school to argue against being named on an EHCP. You can only refuse admission if it causes prejudice. The law states that there is no prejudice if you are below PAN. You cannot pick and choose your pupils. Any attempt to argue prejudice when you are below PAN should fail.

I have only once known an appeal panel to get this wrong. If the parents concerned had gone to judicial review I am confident the courts would have ordered the school to admit the child.

lougle Sun 25-Jun-17 08:54:57

"We also have children waiting for places else where, for example one local school has vacancies, but has currently got their full quota of children with down syndrome, so we are taking a child with down syndrome whilst they wait for place at the first school"

I hope I didn't just read that!! There is no quota for children with Down Syndrome in the Admissions regulations shock. You either have a place or you don't. The only exception is twice excluded children.

lougle Sun 25-Jun-17 08:57:13

Of course, as prh says, if there is an EHCP involved then there is the issue of being able to meet need, also. But even then it shouldn't be 'we've already got our fair share of kids like that. '

What a disgraceful attitude shockangry

user1497480444 Sun 25-Jun-17 09:33:38

you are wrong, there are a specific number of categories of student that schools offer places to, and then if more apply, the others go on the waiting list.

Sometimes I wonder what planet people on these boards are living on!

Electrolux2 Sun 25-Jun-17 09:39:27

User. I seriously doubt that prh has got it wrong.

katd64 Sun 25-Jun-17 09:45:53

Wow. Thank you so much for all your replies. I'm so confused about what to do next. He does have health issues. Ehlers Danlos syndrome which affects his joints, digestive system/bowels , eyes, heart and POTS which can make him pass out, feel dizzy and extremely fatigued, sleep problems related to both these syndromes and of course he is on the spectrum, asperges end. I was honest on the application form as I didn't want a school to take him and then complain that I hadn't told them something.
Don't know what to do next?

soapboxqueen Sun 25-Jun-17 09:53:10

OP have you contacted the LEA? What did they say?

katd64 Sun 25-Jun-17 09:58:36

I haven't contacted anyone . Only got the rejection letter yesterday.

AlexanderHamilton Sun 25-Jun-17 10:06:59

Is it due to the fact that he would be entering the school half way (two thirds if it's a 3 year KS4) through the GCSE preparation?

soapboxqueen Sun 25-Jun-17 10:08:18

Contact your LEA on Monday to find out the state of play and also the sendias person for your area. Details should be on the LEA website. You could also contact the autism society as they have support for things like this.

cantkeepawayforever Sun 25-Jun-17 10:24:57

"you are wrong, there are a specific number of categories of student that schools offer places to, and then if more apply, the others go on the waiting list.

Sometimes I wonder what planet people on these boards are living on!"

User - could you point me to the admissions criteria for a school that does this? (Doesn't have to be yours?) Obviously if there are a limited number of places then that would be listed in their criteria?

The only circumstances i can imagine this applying is if a school has a specific SEN unit attached to it - e.g. an autism base, or a specific unit for the deaf [I have known schools with each of these, which is why I've used the examples]. I could imagine that if e.g. the unit for the deaf has capacity for 10 pupils, and an 11th applies, then they could be deemed to be over-subscribed for that unit even if the main school has vacancies.

What i can't picture is a school with no specific facility, with SEN-with-statement-naming-the-school as, as required by law, a very high priority in admissions criteria, stating 'oh, we've got x people who are deaf / who have Down's syndrome / who are autistic and therefore we are full just for that disability'.

Can you clarify?

katd64 Sun 25-Jun-17 10:25:41

On the letter it only states that application rejected on the info I provided and it's been referred to County . Have started EHCP request asking if he can go back a year . Is Sendiass independent? So worried about this. Before I took him out to home school we had 15 months of meetings, every month, before my son had diagnosis and we were continually blamed for causing his problems. Then they started prosecution for his attendance of 37% and then decided to report us to SS on grounds of neglect- he was so fatigued from POTS and struggled to get out of bed. So I am terrified of going through this all again!

titchy Sun 25-Jun-17 10:27:13

user

Let's see those categories in the Code then?

Oh you haven't got them to hand right now. Funny that.....

lougle Sun 25-Jun-17 10:34:53

Ahh you're the TA who thinks your school is overfunded. I'll treat your posts about school admissions with the same level of scepticism as your posts about school funding hmm

cantkeepawayforever Sun 25-Jun-17 10:39:19

Sorry, should also have said that of course, if a student has an EHCP and the school is to be named on that, the school can argue that it does not have the facilities to support that learner (and thus shouldn't be named on the EHCP) or that by naming the school and being admitted, the student with the EHCP would have a detrimental effect on the learning of other students (IME, the barrier for a school to argue that one successfully is, rightly, high). This COULD be because the facilities used by that student are very specific, very limited, have very high capital cost and absolutely strained to the limit.

However that doesn't say 'there is a fixed quota for students with Down's syndrome, though we could admit other students with moderate learning disability / autism / sensory impairments because those quotas aren't full yet'. To refer to spcirfic numbers seems to show a fundamenta misunderstanding of admissions law.

[Tbf, I have known Heads with very poor understanding of admissions, so user being a member of school staff with an unclear understanding would be, sadly, far from unique]

katd64 Sun 25-Jun-17 10:44:57

Just to clarify it's a Free school and my son doesn't have an EHCP. Have been looking on childlaw.org and it seems to state that they cannot refuse a place based on the fact that a child will need extra support. So discrimination? I'm sure that there is the law and then the schools own 'laws' and am imagining that schools hope you don't check the real law. And the county website is showing they have vacancies.

cantkeepawayforever Sun 25-Jun-17 10:46:01

Are you wanting him to enter Year 11? Or to re-start Year 10? Start of Y11 is a HARD point to start a school - perhaps for his own benefit you might rethink that part?

katd64 Sun 25-Jun-17 10:53:02

To restart year 10. And this is his choice. He really wants to go to school. I am not confident about doing all the GCSE's he wants to do and cannot afford tutors.

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