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Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Local Offer

Alternative provision

Sometimes, schools and local authorities may wish to place a young person in an ‘Alternative Provision’. An Alternative Provision (AP) is an educational setting that may offer a ‘varied curriculum’ or a different approach to managing behaviour.  For example, some APs may offer vocational courses (Construction, Hair and Beauty) or may have access to additional professional expertise such as a Clinical Psychologist.


Royal Greenwich only uses quality assured APs and all providers must be registered with Ofsted as an independent school and so subject to inspection. Schools may also refer young people directly to these providers with the assurance that the AP has met standards set by the Local Authority. 


Younger pupils placed at an AP are often placed to identify and address additional needs. There is an expectation that younger pupils, wherever possible, will return to their school after a set period of time whereas older students may progress directly into an apprenticeship, further education or employment. This approach is in line with the DFE’s recent SEND / AP Action plan which can be found here:  Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) Improvement Plan (


The Local Authority employs an Alternative Education Officer who works closely with APs to ensure they meet the educational standards we would expect of any school and to provide them with the necessary support to meet young people’s needs. The LA have also reinstated termly quality assurance visits to commissioned APs to investigate particular areas of strength or areas for development. Non-commissioned APs are visited twice per year.


In addition, there are quarterly monitoring meetings with providers where data and case studies are used to assess attendance, safeguarding, progress and outcomes and we also gather the voice of pupils and parents to make sure they are happy with their setting and that the setting remains appropriate. Schools have a responsibility to demonstrate how the voice of the pupil and parent are used to inform their decisions to use an AP and APs themselves must listen to the voice of pupils and parents to help them improve their practice.


The secondary alternative providers currently on the commissioned framework are Breakthrough, Pulse and Water, Street Vibes and Wize Up. We also quality assure and work closely with Kidbrooke Park Learning Centre (KPLC) and Waterside NEST who are both Primary APs attached to local Primary / SEND schools.


The Local Authority also works closely with Newhaven School (a Pupil Referral Unit), which includes an Assessment Centre, an alternative education setting, Newhaven Educational Support Team (NEST) which educates secondary students who are unable to attend mainstream school due to psychological health or physical conditions and King’s Park secondary specialist provision for pupils with a diagnosis of Autism and an Educational Health Care Plan.

There are other non-commissioned APs that may be used where it is felt that they are best placed to meet a young person’s needs. These can be found in the list below and are subject to quality assurance as described above.


Should you want further information about APs please contact