Nine pupil referral units, councils and charities will split £4 million from the government’s new “alternative provision fund”, the schools minister has announced today.
Nick Gibb has named the four successful bidders for cash from the fund, which was announced in March alongside a review of exclusions by the former children’s minister, Edward Timpson.
Bradford Central Pupil Referral Unit, Francis Barber Pupil Referral Unit in London and Hospital and Outreach Education in the east midlands will run projects to help excluded children get back into school, while another three schemes run by Cognus in Sutton, Futures Advice, Skills and Employment in Nottingham and Salford City Council will encourage youngsters into further education or employment.
The final three projects, 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 will “support parents and carers to be more involved in their child’s education”.
Projects will include literacy and maths tutoring, holiday activities to support transition to further education and the use of robots to enable children in hospital to participate virtually in lessons. The organisations will also run parent and carer coaching to improve involvement in education, and mental health support.
“These new projects, backed by £4 million, will develop new ways of doing this which can be shared around the country, so that we can improve education for every child and make sure they receive support to meet their individual needs,” said Gibb.
The announcement follows the publication of a damning report into the quality of alternative provision in England from the parliamentary education committee.
In the report, MPs warned that rising numbers of children are being denied the education they deserve as a result of increasing exclusions, illegal off-rolling and poor-quality alternative provision.
Alternative provision fund: the successful bidders
- Futures Advice Skills and Employment
- Salford City Council
- Bradford Central Pupil Referral Unit
- Francis Barber Pupil Referral Unit
- The Tutor Trust and Talk Listen Change
- Hospital and Outreach Education
- Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families
- Portsmouth Education Partnerships