1. Czone
  2. Inclusion
  3. Alternative provision

Alternative provision

Alternative provision is for pupils who would not otherwise receive a suitable education.

This may be due to:

  • exclusion, illness or behaviour
  • the pupil is unable to access full-time mainstream education
  • a full-time mainstream offer is not suitable

The local authority or the school can commission alternative provision for pupils.

Schools remain responsible for safeguarding of a pupil in alternative provision. 

Please see the alternative provision policy [657.5 KB] [pdf].

How to commission alternative provision

Find a suitable provider

To find providers, we recommend that schools use the:

Alternative provision directory | East Sussex 1Space

All the providers listed meet East Sussex County Council’s specification. This is a robust compliance and quality assurance process.

The Council reviews the directory annually. Before commissioning a provider, schools should check there are no changes.

The directory lists Ofsted registered providers. It also includes those not inspected by Ofsted, such as tutors and online learning providers.

Check what they offer

Complete a referral to the provider to confirm the provider can:

  • meet the pupil’s needs
  • offer a programme which meets the pupil’s goals
  • support the pupil to make progress and re-engage with your school, or post-16 provision

Complete the checklist

Complete the Alternative provision quality assurance checklist [32.3 KB] [docx]

Review each term

  • Review the pupil provision with the pupil, their parent or carer and the provider.
  • Notify the AP Commissioner of any concerns.

Raising a concern about a provider

Immediately email APCommissioning@eastsussex.gov.uk if there are any concerns about:

  • safeguarding
  • health and safety
  • quality of teaching and learning

How providers join the directory

A provider who wants to join the directory should contact the Alternative Provision Commissioning Team:

Email: APCommissioning@eastsussex.gov.uk

There is a quality assurance process for alternative provision. This supports schools to secure high-quality provision for pupils.

Keeping children safe in education is everyone’s responsibility.

The quality assurance process

Providers apply to the Alternative Provision Commissioning Team.  

They complete a form and provide supporting certificates and policies.

The local authority quality assures the applications and policies. Successful providers appear in the Alternative provision directory | East Sussex 1Space.

Stage 1 – the application

The local authority compliance checks include:

  • details of the provider and main contact
  • registration with the Department for Education and Ofsted
  • description of curriculum offer (such as GCSEs and short courses)
  • financial and insurance checks
  • polices, process and risk assessments
  • safeguarding arrangements and Designated Safeguarding Lead contact
  • safer recruitment processes and single central record
  • equality and diversity or inclusive practice
  • health and safety arrangements and lead competent person

We discuss unsuccessful applications with the provider and advise them how to reapply. Successful applications progress to stage 2.

Stage 2 - Quality assurance

We visit the provider to complete a quality assurance visit and make these checks:

  • Compliance details supplied by the provider are correct.
  • Relevant insurance is in place.
  • Health and safety checks of the site or provision.
  • Safeguarding processes are in place.
  • Relevant policies and procedures are available for the visit.
  • Staff are available to discuss the curriculum offer and accreditation, where appropriate.
  • Where relevant, risk assessments are available for the visit.

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