Education Access Team

The Education Access Team is part of Specialist Education Services (SES).

The team is a school facing service that supports Children and Young People (CYP) who are unable to access full time education due to being permanently excluded or are at risk of permanent exclusion.

The Education Access Team supports schools and academies to collaboratively focus on the needs of the CYP to ensure the right support is in place.

The Education Access Team provides direct support and guidance where required for:

  • ​Children and their families who have been permanently excluded from school.
  • Hearings and Independent Review Panels.
  • Pupils who are at risk of permanent exclusion from their school through,
    • discussion with schools regarding alternatives to Permanent Exclusion (PEx), including use of the Local Offer, alternative provision, or outreach.
  • signposting to appropriate services.
  • Other professionals on the exclusion process including discussions with partner services within Whole School Inclusion Teams to explore approaches to behaviour and policies.
  • Professionals and schools where pupils on a school roll are not receiving appropriate education due to medical or other needs. 
  • Reintegration meetings after a new school have been identified through the In Year Fair Access Protocol. (IYFAP.)
  • Supporting families with pathways to new placements.

The wider role of the Education Access Team include:

  • Monitoring of Part-time Timetables. (PTTT.)
  • Commissioning bespoke packages of support where appropriate to secure current provision.

Permanent Exclusion

Suspensions, previously Fixed Term Exclusions

Page updated: 27/01/2023.

The government recognises that school suspensions, along with managed moves and temporary off-site directions can be effective methods for headteachers and used to establish both high standards of behaviour in schools and maintain the safety of school communities. A suspension is where a pupil is temporarily removed from the school and details of when this sanction will be considered should be set out within the school’s behaviour policy.

For the vast majority of pupils, suspensions it may not be necessary, as other strategies can manage behaviour.

A pupil may be suspended for one or more fixed periods (up to a maximum of 45 school days in a single academic year). Any suspension of a pupil, even for short periods, such as a half day, must be formally recorded. An informal or unofficial exclusion, such as sending a pupil home ‘to cool off’, is unlawful when it does not follow the formal school exclusion process and regardless of whether it occurs with the agreement of parents.

It is important that during a suspension, pupils still receive their education. Headteachers should take steps to ensure that work is set and marked for pupils during the suspension. This can include utilising any online pathways such as Google Classroom or other effective package developed by the school. Any time a pupil is sent home due to disciplinary reasons and asked to log on or utilise online pathways should always be recorded as a suspension.

The school’s legal duties to pupils with disabilities or special educational needs remain in force, for example, to make reasonable adjustments in how they support disabled pupils during this period.

Whenever a headteacher suspends a pupil, they must, without delay, notify parents of the period of the suspension or permanent exclusion and the reason(s) for it.

Updated legislation and guidance now states the local authority must be informed without delay of all school exclusions regardless of the length.

In addition, when the headteacher suspends or permanently excludes a pupil they must, without delay, after their decision, also notify the pupil’s social worker, if they have one, and the Virtual School head if the pupil is a child in care.

Reduced Timetables

Page updated: 27/01/2023.

Provision – Part-time Timetable (PTTT)

All children of school age, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to a full-time education which is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude, and any special educational needs they may have.

The Education Access Team is committed to working in partnership with schools and other providers to ensure that all children have a full offer of education and attend.  When schools are considering placing a child or young person on a reduced timetable, they should follow the Part Time Timetable Protocol.

To notify Suffolk County Council of a child/pupil starting a PTTT the school should use this link and form provided in the attached document.

Education Access Support Meetings

Schools can book a free 30-minute online Education Access Support Meeting, to access advice and guidance from an Education Access Officer to support early intervention around a pupil who may be experiencing numerous Suspensions or be at risk of a Permanent Exclusion (PEx). To book an EASM, please email [email protected].

The Education Access Support Meetings are held weekly on a Tuesday and will alternate between AM and PM to facilitate and be supporting of different school timetables.

AM TimetablePM Timetable
Session one 09.00 – 9.30Session one 13.00 – 13.30
Session two 9.45 – 10.15Session two 13.45 – 14.15
Session three 10.30 – 11.00Session three 14.30 – 15.00
Session four 11.15 – 11.45Session four 15.15 – 15.45
Session five 12.00 – 12.30.Session five 16.00 – 16.30

Managed Moves

A managed move is used to initiate a process which leads to the transfer of a pupil to another mainstream school permanently. Managed moves should be voluntary and agreed with all parties involved, including the parents and the admission authority of the new school. Managed moves should only occur when it is in the pupil’s best interests. Where a pupil has an EHC plan, the relevant statutory duties on the new school and local authority will apply. If the current school is contemplating a managed move, it should contact the authority prior to the managed move. If the local authority, both schools and parents agree that there should be a managed move, the local authority will need to follow the statutory procedures for amending a plan.

Managed moves should be offered as part of a planned intervention. The on-roll school should be able to evidence that appropriate initial intervention has been carried out, including, where relevant, multi-agency support, or any statutory assessments were done or explored prior to a managed move.

Managed moves should be arranged through the In Year Fair Access Protocol, school to complete the Inclusion Referral Form and submit to the [email protected] email/inbox. The IYFAPs dates are held throughout the term and where a school is working in a safe, timely and supportive manner for a pupil, managed moves can be arranged before the next locality IYFAP by notifying the Chair of IYFAP. The child will then be placed on the agenda for ratification.

The managed move should be preceded by information sharing between the on-roll school and the new school, including data on prior and current attainment, academic potential, a risk assessment, and advice on effective risk management strategies. It is also important for the new school to ensure that the pupil is provided with an effective integration strategy.

It is important that any managed move is arranged collaboratively, and the parent/carer should in no way feel they were placed under pressure. Ofsted will consider any evidence found of a parent being pressured into a managed move that has resulted in off rolling and is likely to judge a school as inadequate based on such evidence.

The In-Year Fair Access Protocol (IYFAP)

Suffolk’s Fair Access Protocol (FAP) is testament to the excellent and effective partnership work between local schools and the Local Authority (LA) to maximise the life chances and choices for local children. Education should not be in isolation from the wider range of support and services already provided and should be available to meet the needs of all children and families. The School Admissions Code (SAC), September 2021, paragraph 3.14 states that each LA must have a FAP to ensure that unplaced and vulnerable children, and those who are having difficulty in securing a school place in-year, are allocated a school place as quickly as possible.

Please complete and send a referral form (see attachments) and an up-to-date risk assessment to [email protected].

The IYFAP is the mechanism used to operate the FAP which enables the Local Authority to secure school places for vulnerable and/or hard-to-place children, where they are having difficulty in securing a school place in-year. In addition, the IYFAP considers the re-integration of permanently excluded children, those returning to a mainstream school from a PRU or AP and managed moves.

Schools will seek advice, guidance and direct input as required for children through the Inclusion Service, education outreach services, or their own specialist arrangements to reduce the risk of permanent exclusions or the need for managed moves. IYFAP is not to be used for advice in these contexts.

IYFAP meetings are held across Suffolk, broken into three localities, West, North and South, on an approximately four-weekly term time basis. The referrer will be expected to present cases at their respective IYFAP based on the individual circumstances of the child. Suffolk children attending schools in other counties may be referred into the IYFAP. Children living in other Local Authorities and attending Suffolk schools cannot be referred to IYFAP and should be referred to their own LA.

Children in care are not subject to FAP and should not be presented or discussed at IYFAP. Instead, where required their case should be resolved outside of IYFAP meetings.

It is important that all schools are asked to admit a balance of pupils under the protocol. The decision should be mindful but not restricted to the following factors as well as taking account of professional advice from the referring school and appropriate professionals:

  • Specific issues in relation to the individual case.
  • Number of placements made by IYFAP to individual schools as reflected in the IYFAP Table.
  • Parental preference.
  • Geographical proximity.
  • Distance factor (measured by statutory walking distance).

Contact

The Education Access Teams can be contacted by emailing [email protected] 

Team Contact: 01473 265561

Useful documents

  1. Fair Access Protocol Nov 2021-22
  2. Risk Assessment
  3. SCC Part-Time Timetable Protocol
  4. School Return Exclusion Data Collection
  5. Pre PEx Protocol – EDAC 2023-24

Related Links

  1. Keeping children safe in education – GOV.UK
  2. School suspensions and permanent exclusions GOV.UK
  3. Working together to improve school attendance GOV.UK
  4. School exclusion reviews data collection GOV.UK
  5. Children and Families Act 2014
  6. Behaviour in schools
  7. Searching, screening and confiscation at school GOV.UK
  8. Children missing education GOV.UK
  9. Education Act 1996
  10. Equality Act 2010: advice for schools GOV.UK
  11. Suffolk SENDIASS
  12. Schools’ Choice
  13. School admissions code 2021