In-Year Admissions

Legal references on this page apply to England.

In-Year School Admissions

During 2011–12, there were 300,000 in-year admissions, defined as any admission to a school which takes place outside of standard entry times, such as September or January entry in Reception, or January entry in Year 7.

In-year admissions include children moving from one school to another; children moving into the country, and children who have been out of school. In-year admissions occur most often at the start of the school year and the beginning of subsequent school terms. Lower attaining schools receive a disproportionate number of in-year movers.

Local authorities are not in charge of in-year admissions. Instead, parents apply directly to the school. Schools may turn children away because the school is full, or because the school would prefer not to take particular children. If an Academy refuses to admit a child, the decision can only be overturned by the Secretary of State (The rules for children with a statement of SEN are different.)

The RSA says that in the 3 years 2009/10, 2010/11 and 2011/12, almost 60,000 children and young people applying for a school place were denied access to school for a term. 30,000 were shut out for more than a year. More

The rules governing school admissions are set out in the Admissions Code of Practice revised December 19th 2014.

".21 There is no requirement for local authorities to co-ordinate in-year applications ... Local authorities must, on request, provide information to a parent about the places still available in all schools within its area, and a suitable form for parents to complete when applying for a place for their child at any school for which they are not the admission authority. Any parent can apply for a place for their child at any time to any school outside the normal admissions round. They can do this by applying directly to admission authorities, except where other arrangements are in place locally (e.g. the local authority coordinates all in-year admissions).
2.22 Own admission authority schools must, on receipt of an in-year application, notify the local authority of both the application and its outcome, to allow the local authority to keep up to date figures on the availability of places in the area. The admission authority must also inform parents of their right to appeal against the refusal of a place." Extract from Admissions Code 2014

There is a process which must be followed for hard-to-place children, which is called the Fair Access Protocol. The Protocol comes into play after admission has been refused, and appeals have been turned down.

The Admissions Code says "There is no duty for local authorities or admission authorities to comply with parental preference when allocating places through the Fair Access Protocol. Where a governing body does not wish to admit a child with challenging behaviour outside the normal admissions round, even though places are available, it must refer the case to the local authority for action under the Fair Access Protocol."

The Admissions Code says that "The list of children to be included in a Fair Access Protocol is to be agreed with the majority of schools in the area but must, as a minimum, include the following children of compulsory school age who have difficulty securing a school place:
a) children from the criminal justice system or Pupil Referral Units who need to be reintegrated into mainstream education;
b) children who have been out of education for two months or more;
c) children of Gypsies, Roma, Travellers, refugees and asylum seekers;
d) children who are homeless;
e) children with unsupportive family backgrounds for whom a place has not been sought;
f) children who are carers; and g) children with special educational needs, disabilities or medical conditions (but without a statement or Education Health and Care Plan).

Related Pages

Children Missing Education
Ofsted, Children Missing Out on Education

Link Reference

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  1. Ofsted, Children Missing Out on Education