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Schools: Domestic Violence

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL469, tabled on 24 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they plan to take to ensure that the Fair Access Protocol under the School Admissions Code includes all children escaping domestic abuse, not only those in refuges.

Answered on

7 June 2021

In 2020 the Government consulted on changes to the School Admissions Code (the Code) to improve the in year admission process for all children, including those fleeing domestic abuse, and to improve Fair Access Protocols, which act as a safety net for the most vulnerable children. The new Code and associated regulations were laid before Parliament on 13 May and, subject to Parliamentary procedure, they will come into force 1 September. On the same day, the Government published the response to the consultation which is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/changes-to-the-school-admissions-code--4.

The new Code ensures that unplaced children who are living in a refuge or other relevant accommodation will be eligible to be considered by a Fair Access Protocol, which exists to ensure that unplaced and vulnerable children are allocated a school place as quickly as possible. Relevant accommodation, for the purposes of the Code, means a safe place to stay for victims and their children fleeing domestic abuse. This can include, but is not limited to, refuges, specialist safe accommodation, sanctuary schemes and second stage accommodation.