To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she has made an assessment of the adequacy of the time taken for school admission decisions to be made for pupils temporarily residing in domestic abuse refuges; and if she will take steps with local authorities to reduce that time.
The government has not carried out a recent assessment of the time taken to secure a school place for children living in domestic abuse refuges, but has changed the School Admissions Code in 2021 to improve support for the in-year admission of vulnerable children and help to reduce to a minimum any gaps in their education.
The 2021 Code requires admission authorities to inform parents of the outcome of their in-year application within 15 school days. Where a parent is having difficulty securing a place following the in-year process, each local authority must have a Fair Access Protocol (FAP) which requires an eligible child to be allocated a school place within 20 school days. The government extended eligibility for the FAP in the new Code to children who are living in a refuge or other relevant accommodation.