A fair access protocol exists to ensure that children without a school place, especially the most vulnerable, are offered a place at an appropriate school as quickly as possible.

The fair access panel meets fortnightly and it includes representatives from Royal Greenwich schools, the local authority and other agencies.

The panel considers all the information available and the child's individual circumstances to make a decision about what school would best meet the child's needs.

Children admitted through the fair access panel get priority over children who wish to transfer to another school and those who are waiting for an appeal.

The Fair Access Panel

If your child is experiencing difficulties in school or is not receiving education, their case may be referred to our Fair Access panel. The panel will consider your child’s individual needs before allocating the appropriate education placement. It can also provide a route to getting your child additional support, if required.

When does the panel meet?

The panel meets on a fortnightly basis during term time.

Who attends the panel?

Panel membership is designed to provide expert opinion and advice so that an informed decision can be made. Headteachers and senior leaders from Royal Greenwich schools and alternative education providers attend on a rota basis.

At each meeting a senior officer or their designated representative from each of the following services also attend - Admissions, Attendance, Behaviour Support, Early Help, Educational Psychology, Safeguarding and Social Care, School Nursing, and Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS). The secondary panel also has a representative from the Youth Offending Service.


You will need to give consent for the designated representatives to share information about your child at the meeting.

Can I attend the panel?

No. The panel is for professionals only. However, your views and wishes will be taken into consideration as part of the decision-making process.

How are decisions made?

The panel considers all information available so that the appropriate education provision can be offered to your child. The following factors are taken into account – your child’s needs and family circumstances, information provided by your child’s previous or current school, school vacancies and how many children have already been admitted to each school, where he school is based and the journey from home, recommendations made by professionals and those agencies currently working with your child, religious affiliation, and the views of both you and your child.

What happens once a decision is made?

If your child has been offered a place at a school, the school will contact you to make the necessary admission arrangements. If it has been agreed that a package of support should be offered to the school to help your child settle in their new school, you will be asked to attend a meeting so that the support can be identified, and targets set. This will be followed by an interim review meeting after three weeks and a final review meeting six weeks after your child has started.

If your child has been offered a place at an alternative educational setting, you will be contacted by a Local Authority officer who will advise of the education setting the panel is offering and the next steps to getting your child started in the new provision.

If the panel decided that a move to another school would not be in your child’s best interests at this time, the current education provider will work with you to take this forward, offering additional support for your child where appropriate. Sometimes referrals need to be made to outside agencies and other services so that your child can receive the necessary support.

Guidance on Fair Access 

The Government has issued non-statutory guidance on Fair Access which schools, governors and LAs should follow.

For further information, please contact:






Get more information about exclusions.