What is Alternative Provision?
We believe all children and young people, including those in alternative provision settings, deserve a high-quality education and the chance to fulfil their potential. Alternative Provision (or ‘AP’ for short) refers to education for pupils having trouble accessing education as a result of their mental or physical health, social needs or special educational needs.
AP providers can offer high quality off-site tutoring or intervention services to meet children and young people’s varied and complex needs. Schools can use alternative provision to prevent exclusions or re-engage pupils in their education, whether this is a return to mainstream school, specialist provider or post-16 provision.
The Telford and Wrekin Alternative Provision Directory will show a list of organisations currently offering a range of AP services accessible to students in Telford. Each of the AP providers have confirmed they meet a number of important standards including safeguarding, insurance and health and safety.
Schools and other educational establishments have a responsibility to ensure that pupils accessing AP services are safe and are able to learn and achieve. They should therefore make sure appropriate quality assurance checks are undertaken before commissioning an AP provider and satisfy themselves that providers are not operating as unregistered independent schools.
If a provider is offering:
- full-time education to 5 children, or
- full-time education to 1 child with an EHCP, or
- full-time education to 1 looked after child.
Then the provider should be registered as an independent school and state-maintained schools must not commission alternative provision from them until they have done so. In the case of independent schools, case law suggests that 18 hours of provision a week equates to full-time education.
Whilst we have made every endeavour to ensure that all of the settings in this directory comply with legal requirements, you might, as a school, identify that a setting has now met the threshold to be registered as an independent school. Should this be the case, please notify us immediately using the email address below. Visit the GOV.UK website to view the guidance.
If pupils attend off-site alternative provision, inspectors will evaluate the extent to which these placements are safe and effective in promoting pupils’ progress. Inspectors will visit a sample of the alternative providers used. Inspectors will want to understand how providers ensure that pupils who attend multiple settings or part time are kept safe when they are not on site for the whole school day.
Whilst the Local Authority has undertaken an initial quality assurance process, the school will retain ultimate responsibility for any child on their roll and will therefore need to confirm safeguarding arrangements and quality of education with the provider. There is a template available for schools to complete these checks, please contact Louise Bartholomew at APDirectory@telford.gov.uk for this template.
If you are an alternative provider and you want to be in the directory, please email Louise Bartholomew using the email address above.