Department for Education
Vulnerable children to get better support when moving school
Proposals outlined to reduce time vulnerable children spend out of the classroom, with consultation launched on changes to the School Admissions Code.
Vulnerable children are to receive improved support when moving school during term time, in new measures to reduce time spent out of the classroom.
Proposed changes to the School Admissions Code outlined recently (26 June 2020) include a new turnaround of 10 school days for a decision on an in-year application and clearly defined timescales for each stage of the process.
While these measures will apply to all children moving school during the academic year, including those of Armed Forces Personnel, vulnerable children and those in care are much more likely to move school outside of the usual timeframes.
There will also be greater clarity for parents or carers on how applications can be made during term time, how the council or admissions authority will handle requests and how decisions can be appealed.
The code is also being amended to prioritise children adopted from state care outside of England and make sure they benefit from the same experience and opportunity in accessing a school place as those adopted domestically.
School Standards Minister Nick Gibb recently said:
We remain determined to support the most vulnerable pupils to reach their potential in school and beyond, which is why we are aiming to reduce the time spent outside the classroom when a child needs to move school during term time.
These changes aim to speed up the process for vulnerable pupils and make it easier to secure a school place when they need one, as we continue to focus on delivering more good school places for pupils and parents.
The proposals are now open for an extended consultation period of sixteen weeks to ensure schools, local authorities, parents, social workers and charitable organisations have sufficient opportunity to submit their responses.
Tomas Thurogood-Hyde, Head of Governance and Legal at Astrea Academy Trust recently said:
In-year admissions and the Fair Access Protocol are relied upon by thousands of children each year and they are often doubly vulnerable - not only are they between school places and therefore out of education, but there is often an underlying contributor to this. Children might be new to the country or have been recently re-housed and those who come before Fair Access panels might have been excluded or have unmet needs.
Providing greater consistency for these children, whilst allowing a diverse system of admission authorities to collaborate according to local needs, is a timely and important step forward in ensuring equity for the children who need it most.
Councillor Abtisam Mohamed, Cabinet Member for Children & Families for Sheffield City Council recently said:
I am sure that local authorities will welcome the review of the School Admissions Code which will look to provide a more robust framework for in-year admission and Fair Access Protocols.
Such changes have the potential to really help local authorities advocate for vulnerable children and families more effectively.
Latest News from
Department for Education
Reforms set to boost early language outcomes and cut workload02/07/2020 09:05:00
Plans published to transform early years learning and development and reduce unnecessary teacher workload.
Universities Minister calls for true social mobility01/07/2020 14:20:00
Speaking to the NEON summit on widening access and mobility, Universities Minister Michelle Donelan, outlines a new approach to social mobility.
PM announces transformative school rebuilding programme30/06/2020 10:10:10
Prime Minister Boris Johnson sets out a transformative ten-year rebuilding programme for schools across England.
Extra support for new teachers amid surge in applications24/06/2020 13:10:00
Up to 5,000 early career teachers to receive additional support, with twelve per cent more applications to teacher training compared to last year.
Thousands of children to benefit from free meals and activities23/06/2020 16:10:00
Thousands of children in England to benefit from free meals and activities during summer 2020.
Education Secretary's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 19 June 202023/06/2020 13:38:00
Education Secretary on the Government’s £1 billion Covid catch-up plan to tackle impact of lost teaching time (19 June 2020).
Billion pound Covid catch-up plan to tackle impact of lost teaching time22/06/2020 13:10:00
New measures to help primary and secondary pupils catch up.
Universities Minister announces mental health support for students17/06/2020 15:10:00
Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, talks to HEPI about the impact of Covid-19 on the sector and mental health support for students during this time.