Alternative provision: Changing perceptions

Society’s perception of alternative provision is changing for the better, but work still needs to be done to ensure schools support their excluded students to receive an appropriately tailored delivery of education, says Jacqueline Daniell

The launch of the Timpson Review (DfE, May 2019) and the Department for Education’s (DfE) statistics on permanent and fixed period exclusions in England from 2017 to 2018 (DfE, July 2019) show an increasing focus on exclusions and alternative provision (AP).

At first glance, the DfE statistics seem to bring good news: the increase in permanent exclusions in recent years has slowed. While this sounds positive, sadly numbers are still climbing, with pupil figures across all state-funded primary, secondary and special schools increasing from 7,700 in 2016/17 to 7,900 in 2017/18.

Permanent exclusions in secondary schools are now 0.2 per cent (two pupils per 1,000), totalling more than 20,000 pupils in the UK – this figure based on data from the DfE, Welsh government, Scottish government and Northern Ireland’s Department of Education (2016/17).

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