Alternative Provision

What is an example of alternative provision?

This term is used to describe the education arrangements made for those children that cannot attend school for another reason (so are out of School) or excluded pupils to continue to have a suitable, full-time education whilst they are excluded from school.

In some circumstances, alternative provision can be used where a child has not been excluded, where there are medical needs or they need a placement to support them with their behaviour.

Alternative Provision includes educational establishments which are not mainstream, academy, special or private/independent schools, i.e. Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) and Medical Needs/Tuition Services are considered alternative provision.

This is the link to the Governments informaiton for Alternative provision – GOV.UK (

What can be expected from Alternative Provision

Students in alternative provision should receive the same amount of education as they would receive in a maintained school, unless it is not appropriate, for example for a student with a medical condition.

Alternative provision must meet the needs of students and enable them to achieve ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’ educational attainment level with their mainstream peers, while the needs which require intervention are addressed.

The length of time a student spends in alternative provision will depend on what best supports the students’ needs and potential educational attainment.

Any child or young person placed by a school in alternative education provision, either full or part time, remains the responsibility of the school, retains their place on the roll of that school and is dual registered (registered at both the school and alternative provision).

The school remains responsible for the monitoring and tracking of attainment, attendance, behaviour and safeguarding of their students placed in alternative provision.

If your child is not on role at a School, then it is the LA’s responsibility.

Power of schools to direct a student off-site

Governing bodies of maintained schools have the power to direct a student off-site for education to improve his or her behaviour.

This is not a permanent exclusion. Under this power the student would have a right to return to school once the targets for improved behaviour have been met.

The review process

The child, parents and all professionals involved must be clear why, when, where, and how the placement will be reviewed.

Reviews should be frequent enough to provide assurance that the off-site education is achieving its objectives and that the student is benefiting from it.

Alternative provision used for this purpose must undergo the same rigorous quality assurance processes as those implemented for longer term placement.

Parents and the LA can request in writing, that the governing body review the placement. When this happens, governing bodies must comply with the request as soon as reasonably practicable, unless there has already been a review in the previous 10 weeks.

 In Surrey their alternative learning services include:

(Taken from Alternative learning for those with additional educational needs – Surrey County Council ( )

Access to education (A2E)

Access to Education (A2E) provides a flexible, short-term, education service. It is for children and young people who cannot attend school through exceptional circumstances. This could include medical reasons and permanent exclusions.

A2E offers a service made up of teaching, emotional, behavioural and social development work, mentoring and access to a virtual learning environment.

Referrals to A2E can come from the following:

  • SENCo at a School and
  • The SEN Team

All students within A2E have access to the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) online resources and communication tools in a safe online environment.

Surrey Online School

Surrey Online School (SOS) provides a mix of education technology including live online lessons to a range of pupils across the county. It aims to make the best teaching available to all students in Surrey, irrespective of background or location.