Alternative Provision

East Sussex Alternative Provision Directory

The Alternative Provision Directory is a list of education providers that offer provision for children and young people at school in East Sussex. The providers have successfully tendered against East Sussex County Council’s alternative provision directory service specification and have completed a robust compliance and quality assurance process focusing on safeguarding, health and safety, policies, leadership, and curriculum.

The list includes 2 distinct types of providers. Those who are:

  1. Subject to Ofsted inspection:
  • Schools who have an alternative offer that other schools can commission
  • Post-16 providers
  1. Not subject to Ofsted inspection:
  • Unregistered providers
  • Providers of online learning
  • Tutors

Commissioning Alternative Provision

The school that is considering an alternative provision placement for a pupil is the commissioner. The Local Authority (LA) recommends that schools use the directory to commission alternative provision for children and young people. The directory is the starting point that deems a provider suitable for a school to approach in order to decide whether the offer is right for an individual pupil. However, inclusion in the directory does not mean that the provider is appropriate for all children and young people. It is the school’s responsibility to assess whether a provider offers high-quality education and meets the needs of the child or young person and complete its own quality assurance process prior to a pupil accessing a placement.  

To access the list of approved providers, click on the link below to the current Alternative Provision Directory. Please note that providers of alternative provision will continue to be added to the directory once they have successfully met the required standards.

You can view the East Sussex Alternative Provision Directory, on 1Space.

To support commissioning of Alternative Provision we have created a quick guide for schools.

Frequently asked questions

What is alternative provision?

Statutory Guidance from the Department for Education (DfE) defines alternative provision as ‘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; and pupils being directed by schools to off-site provision to improve their behaviour.’

I am using an alternative provider that is not on the directory. What do I need to do?

Ask a representative from the provider for the reasons why they have not joined the directory. Would they consider joining? Where a provider wishes to join the directory, ask them to contact the Alternative Provision Commissioner by emailing and put AP Application in the subject.

How often is the AP directory reviewed?

The AP directory is reviewed annually and where concerns are raised these will be dealt with immediately.

How do I raise a concern?

  • If your concern relates to safeguarding you should follow your school's safeguarding procedures.
  • If your concern relates the quality of education or business practice, you should discuss the matter with your line manager and follow your school's normal escalation procedures. In addition, please inform the AP Commissioner at