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Alternative Provision | Community Directory

Alternative Provision

Alternative Provision or "AP" settings are places that provide education for children who can't, for various reasons, currently go to a mainstream school. 

The Government definition of Alternative Provision is as follows:

  • Education arranged by local authorities for pupils who, because of exclusion, illness or other reasons, would not otherwise receive suitable education;
  • Education arranged by schools for pupils on a fixed period exclusion;
  • Pupils being directed by schools to off-site provision to improve their behaviour

One type of Alternative Provision in Suffolk are Pupil Referral Units (PRUs). These are educational settings where pupils attend following a permanent exclusion or for support with negative behavioural difficulties seen within their mainstream schools to prevent a permanent exclusion; along with those who are medically unable to attend their mainstream school. You can read more about these here: Specialist Education in Suffolk.

Other types of Alternative Provision in Suffolk include Independent Schools and Providers who have been approved via the Local Authority's Quality Assurance process. These AP Providers can be used by schools to support students that need an intervention at any particular point during student’s education.

Please see the links below to more information on the Alternative Providers that are currently approved under our Quality Assurance process:

Access to Alternative Provision

Although these providers are quality assured through the Local Authority it remains the school’s responsibility to commission the provision as these students will be on role the of a mainstream school or pupil referral unit. There may be exceptional situations where the Local Authority commissions a provider to provide a bespoke package for student. This could be as a result of a permanent exclusion or in other exceptional circumstances.

In relation to IYFAP this meeting is only able to direct and place students within the Pupil Referral Unit estate and with the LA commissioned Include provision. IYFAP will not commission any other provision for students. For students with an EHCP the SEND code of practice 9.78 states,

“The child’s parent or the young person has the right to request a particular school, college or other institution of the following type to be named in their EHC plan:

  • maintained nursery school
  • maintained school and any form of academy or free school (mainstream or special)
  • non-maintained special school
  • further education or sixth form college
  • independent school or independent specialist colleges (where they have been approved for this purpose by the Secretary of State and published in a list available to all parents and young people)”

If a provider or parent wish for an Alternative Provision provider to be named in a student’s EHCP all of the above are registered schools’ line with the DfE guidance below.

“You (the provider) must register with the Department for Education (DfE) in England before you can run an independent school.

You must register if you’ll provide full time education for: