Access request outcomes
There are three possible responses to the Access request submitted by your local school.
How will I find out what the decision is, and how long will it take?
You will be contacted with the response to your child’s Access request. There are three possible outcomes to an Access request - supported, deferred or declined.
If the Access request submitted by your school is for placing your child in a support class immediately - or in the next term - then the decision should be made within, on average, 28 calendar days (not including school holidays). This is the same for Access requests for Integration Funding Support (IFS).
The panel will also make decisions about class placements for the following year, or for Year 5 students applying for a placement in high school. These decisions may take longer.
These panels will need to look at all the Access request applications and take into account new classes being set up, classes being moved and available vacancies. They may be waiting on further information before they can come to a decision.
You will be contacted to discuss the outcome of your application, ongoing support and transition planning.
Support class placements
While your local school may have a support class that is appropriate for your child, it may not have any vacancies. In this case, your child could be offered a placement in a support class in another school.
Support classes have a limited number of placements available. The panel will need to look at the support needs of the students already in the class and the needs of students seeking placement. The placements will go to the children with the highest support needs.
If the Access request for your child’s placement in a support class is supported, there will be an offer of placement for your child which you can accept or decline. If you decline the offer it does not mean your child will be given priority for any other support class placements.
If you accept the offer, your next step is to meet with the school where the support class is.
If your child’s school has submitted an Access request for IFS and it is supported, the funding will be allocated to the school to use. This funding could be for a group of students instead of just one, and it is the school’s decision how to best support your child.
For example, they could supply professional development for the staff to help better support your child, or it could be used to provide support in your child’s classroom.
If the Access request for your child has been deferred, it means that your child has not been offered a place in a support class right now and the decision has been deferred until the next time the panel meets.
An Access request can be considered by two more placement panels after it has been deferred.
Your local school will investigate other support options for your child immediately.
If the Access request for your child is for IFS it will not be deferred - only supported or declined.
Your child’s Access request may be declined for the following reasons:
- Your child does not meet the eligibility criteria.
- The placement would not meet your child’s needs or circumstances.
- The provision is not available in your area.
- Your child’s needs are not in the moderate to high range.
- Your child’s school has not used all their school-based or specialist staff resources.
If your child’s application is declined, you will be contacted to discuss ongoing support and other options. It does not mean that your child will not receive any support, just that this specific Access request has been declined.
The Access request only applies for certain kinds of support, and there are many other options that your local school can consider.
Who can I speak to about the outcome?
If you want to discuss the outcome of the Access request for your child and find out more about how the decision was made, you can request the contact details for your local Student Support team from your local school.
This team is your next point of contact with the department to raise any issues or concerns you may have around your child’s education.