Nine projects across the country have been awarded a share of £4million to transform the education and outcomes of children taught in alternative provision.

Children taught in alternative provision are set to benefit from new projects to help them fulfil their potential, including work placements, careers advice and behaviour mentoring.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb announced nine innovative schemes across the country to benefit from a £4million fund to develop new ways of improving alternative provision, to support children educated outside of mainstream or special schools and help them succeed later in life.

Evidence shows children educated in alternative provision are less likely to achieve good GCSE grades and are less likely to be in education, employment or training post-16. The projects announced today aim to tackle these injustices by supporting children back into mainstream education when it is suitable, encouraging parents and carers to be more involved in their child’s education, helping young people make good academic progress, and moving on to further education or employment.

From September the projects are set to improve outcomes through literacy and maths tutoring, summer holiday activities to support transition to further education, and the introduction of robots to enable children in hospital to participate virtually in lessons. Other schemes include parent and carer coaching to improve involvement in education and mental health support, helping young people to build positive relationships.

The nine projects, spanning the East Midlands, West Midlands, London, East of England, Yorkshire and Humber, South West, and the South East will be funded by the £4 million Alternative Provision Innovation Fund which launched in March 2018.

The projects include:

  • Three projects to help get children back into school, led by Bradford Central Pupil Referral Unit, Francis Barber Pupil Referral Unit in London, and Hospital and Outreach Education in the East Midlands.
  • Three projects to help young people into further education or employment, led by Cognus in Sutton, Futures Advice, Skills and Employment in Nottingham, and Salford City Council.
  • Three projects to support parents and carers to be more involved in their child’s education, led by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families in London, The Tutor Trust and Talk Listen Change in Greater Manchester, and Portsmouth Education Partnerships.

The Innovation Fund was launched alongside the Department for Education’s vision for reforming alternative provision which outlined steps to improve quality– including reviewing unregistered settings, developing a new framework and making the role of schools, alternative providers and councils clearer in delivering alternative provision.

This is also supported by the ongoing review of exclusions, externally-led by Edward Timpson, exploring how schools use exclusions and why some groups of children are disproportionately excluded from school.