Admissions for Looked after Children

Looked after children have been given the highest priority within school admission arrangements. The admission requirements for looked after children are set out in the School Admissions Code. This Code applies to maintained schools and academies, including free schools[1].

It is the responsibility of the VSH to ensure that:

  • Admission authorities understand that Fair Access Protocols do not apply to looked after children and that they are 'excepted pupils' in relation to infant class size regulations
  • The local authority, as a corporate parent, does not tolerate drift and delay where children the authority looks after are without an education placement that is appropriate to their assessed needs. This includes using their powers of direction in a timely way rather than delay issuing a direction as a result of protracted negotiation

The choice of school requires skilled working between relevant people. It should be based on a discussion between the child's social worker, their carers and, if appropriate, birth parents. The VSH should normally be consulted to avoid choosing a school that is unlikely to meet the child's needs. Delegated authority about choice of school should be addressed explicitly in the child's permanence plan, which is part of their wider care plan.

If social workers are unsure of how school admissions work in relation to looked after children they should discuss this with their VSH or someone else who can provide the correct information.

An academy admission request form for looked after children can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/academy-admission-request-form-for-looked-after-children

Please refer to the NYCC School Admissions page for further information (link below).

[1] A 'maintained school' means community school, foundation school, voluntary aided school, voluntary controlled school, community special school, foundation special school or maintained nursery school.

Useful Downloads

DfE - Promoting the Educational Achievement of Looked After Children