Fair Access Panel

Local Authorities have a statutory duty to have a protocol that sits outside the normal admissions process, to ensure that children without school places are found and offered a place as soon as possible. The statutory guidance is issued by law and applies to maintained, academy, free and independent schools. 

The role of the Fair Access Panel (FAP) is to agree a Fair Access Protocol, oversee the process and ensure that the amount of time any child, especially the most vulnerable, is out of school is kept to a minimum. Local Authorities are expected to work in partnership with all schools in their area to agree the Fair Access Protocol.

In Waltham Forest there is both a primary and secondary Fair Access Panel.

The core function of these panels is to support inclusion by:

  • agreeing and reviewing the Fair Access Protocol
  • providing transparency of processes and procedures
  • helping provide a clear system to demonstrate an equitable distribution of young people into schools that may have a range of complex needs & behaviour history
  • ensuring services and existing systems provide value for money
  • helping to ensure there are clear and robust policies in place, to enable the local authority to meet its duty in relation a young person’s education entitlement, suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have
  • assisting services and system to maximise safeguarding

Responsibilities of school representatives:

  • ensure the local protocol is adhered to
  • ensure the needs of the child are taken into account
  • ensure all schools are treated fairly.

Current representatives for your sector

How often does the forum meet?

Every three weeks in term time for 2-3 hours.

The Department of Education (DfE) provides an outline of the expectations of the Local Authorities and schools to ensure that the agreed process operates effectively. Further information can be found on Gov.uk

Last update: Thursday 10th of August 2023 08:12:59 AM