In Year Admissions

This information has been written to comply with the Lancashire County Council Secondary School and Academy Fair Access Protocol.

In Lancashire, parents contact secondary schools and academies direct to seek places for routine admissions.  If a place is available in the required school year, a meeting and tour of the school will be offered.  If parents decide that they wish to take the offer of a place, and admission form must be completed by a legal guardian and arrangements will be made for a start date.  When a year group is full, a waiting list is maintained.  If a place subsequently becomes available, the first name on the list will be contacted to ascertain if the place is still required.  If a parent indicates that it is, a meeting will be arranged.  If a parent indicates they no longer require the place, the pupils name will be removed from the waiting list and the place offered to the next student, and so on.

Where places are not available at a preferred school or academy the Local Authority will provide information and advice for parents about the appeals process.

Secondary schools and academies and all admission authorities do share responsibility for ensuring that vulnerable, new to area children are admitted to school as quickly as possible.

For vulnerable (hard to place) children Local Authorities must have a Fair Access Protocol (FAP). This should be agreed with the majority of schools and academies. All schools and academies must however participate in its operation.

FAP operates outside of normal admission processes and can allocate places in year groups which are already full or even over the school’s admission number.

Which Children Are Included In FAP

The FAP only applies to pupils without a mainstream school place. In Lancashire, pupils are considered under the FAP where there has been a history of fixed period exclusions, significant poor attendance (ie. under 60%) or a complex history, with the pupil meeting more than one vulnerability indicator.  

The School Admissions Code requires that as a minimum the following groups must be included:-

  1. Those from the criminal justice system or Pupil Referral Units returning to mainstream education*.
  2. Those who have been out of education for 2 months or more.
  3. Children of Gypsies, Roma, Travellers, refugees and asylum seekers.
  4. Children who are homeless.
  5. Children from unsupportive family background where a school place has not been sought.
  6. Children who are carers
  7. Children with special educational needs, disabilities or medical conditions who do not have a full Education, Health and Care Plan.

*this includes permanently excluded children returning from PRUs and occasionally those who have been permanently excluded who have not accessed offered PRU support (because of parental refusal or where the exclusion was for a one off incident).

If the statutory in year admissions process has resulted in a refusal to admit or an avoidable delay (where a child has been out of education for 2 months or more) then the FAP can be applied and referrals made for immediate admission. This may occasionally include cases from other local authority areas.

Will Schools Be Exempted From FAP In Any Circumstances?

All Lancashire schools must participate in FAP – this is a legal requirement. The only circumstances where referrals will not be made are:

  1. Where the child was previously permanently excluded from a school they will not be referred back to the same establishment.
  2. Where a school is in an Ofsted category. This would normally be where a school has been placed in Special Measures and the length of the exemption would be determined by the panel members. 
  3. Where there is a serious recent or ongoing complaint / legal issue with the child or family in relation to a particular school or a member of staff at a particular school.
  4. Where there has been a police investigation of a serious nature involving a pupil or member of staff at a particular school.
  5. Additionally, decisions can be made by panel members to exempt a school or a particular year group within a school because of challenging circumstances such as the behaviour of a cohort. 

If the Local Authority is aware that a school has recently taken a referred FAP admission and in the short term a second request appears then the Area Pupil Access Team will inform the parents / carers about the principles of sharing FAP admissions and about other locally available places.

For In Year Admission enquiries please contact

  • Arts Council England - Artsmark Gold
  • Lancashire Socio-economic Equality Badge
  • School Mental Health Award
  • Ofsted - Outstanding Provider
  • Arts Council England - Artsmark Gold
  • Lancashire Socio-economic Equality Badge
  • School Mental Health Award
  • Ofsted - Outstanding Provider