Alternative Provision Directory

Advice to schools seeking providers of alternative education placements for pupils on their roll.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Alternative Education Provider List (APL) offers a list of organisations providing commissioned educational placements and intervention, who have at least met the minimum standards set within the Alternative Education Quality Assurance process and agree to adhere to and make improvements against this framework. The APL helps commissioners have confidence that providers have demonstrated a basic minimum of policies and systems that should be expected to support placements. This is no guarantee of educational quality but is a basis upon which a Commissioner could consider placements.

Requirements for inclusion on the APL are:

  • Safeguarding arrangements which meet Oxfordshire County Council and Oxfordshire’s Safeguarding Children Board standards
  • Health and Safety arrangements meet required standards
  • Evidence of relevant experience
  • Evidence of local capacity to deliver services
  • Financial integrity
  • Offering relevant services
  • Appropriate record keeping

The APL does not guarantee business to any listed providers, and schools are not required to procure services only from the list. Schools and commissioners can engage any organisation to provide placements but it is their responsibility to ensure checks are in place.

Alternative Education responsibilities

Alternative Education refers to learning offered primarily outside of school that is deemed to be an intervention aimed at helping re-engaging pupils with learning and will ‘deliver appropriate educational progress’.

The provision is aimed at children and young people: -

  • At risk of exclusion from school 
  • Excluded from school on a fixed term basis
  • At risk of disengaging from mainstream education and/or require additional support during a negotiated transfer between mainstream schools 
  • Otherwise require alternative education provision to meet their educational entitlement. 

School / Academy Statutory Obligations

The APL does not remove or affect any of the statutory obligations and duties upon schools /academies in relation to the provision of education or the exclusion of children from school. Any child placed either full or part time in alternative education provision, remains on the roll of that school / academy and responsibility for delivering the full-time education and all other duties in respect of that child remain with the school.  Specifically, the commissioning school / academy remains responsible for monitoring and tracking the progress, safety and attendance of individual children and confirming that the provision is of good quality, value for money and meets the needs of the child / young person.

Full time education is a morning and an afternoon session.

Schools are required to confirm to Oxfordshire County Council that they have robust arrangements in place to monitor and quality-assure any Alternative Education Provision placements made.

Alternative Education Provision aims to provide pupils with:

  • access to a variety of learning opportunities
  • a personalised programme of learning that meets the pupil’s needs
  • quality teaching
  • a safe and supportive learning environment where staff will listen and respond to concerns
  • opportunities to develop social and emotional skills to enable pupils to access and engage with learning
  • opportunities to participate, express views and contribute to decision making
  • impartial information, advice and guidance about next steps
  • preparation for economic independence and employability

If you would like to discuss issues relating to engaging with alternative providers you can contact or on 01865 783 379