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Alternative Provision

Alternative Provision or "AP" settings are places that provide education for children who can't, for various reasons, currently attend their 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

Within Suffolk, there are two main types of alternative provision:

  • Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) and Alternative Provision Acadmies, and
  • Alternative Provision (non-school based)

You can find out more information about each of these, and view a full list of them, by clicking the blue dropdown menus below:

Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) and Alternative Provision Academies

One type of Alternative Provision in Suffolk are Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) and Alternative Provision Academies.

These are registered schools which, if agreed, pupils can attend in the following circumstances:

  • Following a permanent exclusion,
  • For support with barriers that are being experienced within their mainstream schools,
  • To prevent a permanent exclusion; and/or
  • Those who are medically unableto attend their mainstream school.

The PRUs and Alternative Provision Academies currently within Suffolk are:

Alternative Provision (non-school based)

In addition to registered schools, there is also alternative provision which has been defined as education outside school, and provision which is arranged by local authorities or schools. This is provision in which a pupil participates as part of their regular timetable, away from the site of their registered school and not led by school staff.

Schools can use such provision to try to prevent exclusions, or to re-engage students in their education at any point in their education.

Unlike Pupil Referral Units and other full-time provision, there is no requirement for the these Alternative Providers (APs) to register with any official body and no consistent arrangements to evaluate their quality - the sector is unregulated. 

As a Local Authority, we have an internal monitoring process in place for all unregulated provision directly funded by Suffolk County Council as part of the provision described within a chld or young person's Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

The AP’s which have been through this process with Suffolk are below:

The above providers have all been quality assured through the Local Authority's Quality Assurance process, which means they have had monitoring processes implemented as part of the LA's duty to ensure the safety and progress in provisions funded directly by the LA. However, schools are not restricted to only using these providers.

In addition to these, there are a number of providers included on the Local Offer which schools can make use of if identified as a benefit to their pupils. Searching for alternative provision in the search box will show a full list of what is available. For any school funding alternative provision as part of a pupil's timetable, whether they have been Quality Assured by the LA or not, it remains the school’s responsibility to carry out their own due diligence and ensure safety and progress of the pupils which they place there.

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