• New free school bids round leaves AP out in the cold

    The government’s latest free school wave does not allow applications for new alternative provision, despite a major pledge from ministers to encourage and prioritise them. Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, told The Times earlier this month that opening new schools for excluded pupils would be prioritised. And when the Department for Education this week launched

    17.00 Sep. 13th, 2019 | News

  • Gavin Williamson’s AP free schools promise won’t work unless…

    The news that alternative provision (AP) will be a major focus of the free schools programme under the new government is most welcome and overdue. While there are excellent APs all over the country, there are also too many cold spots, where vulnerable children are left without any access to quality education. Setting up new

    14.11 Sep. 6th, 2019 | Opinion

  • Spielman ordered sanction of off-rolling school

    The chief inspector intervened to downgrade the Ofsted rating of a school found to have off-rolled pupils, Schools Week can reveal. Inspectors visiting Discovery Academy in Stoke-on-Trent in January were advised by Amanda Spielman (pictured) to rate the school’s leadership and management as “requires improvement”, rather than “good”, after they discovered evidence of off-rolling of

    5.00 Mar. 8th, 2019 | News

  • Timpson review to demand excluded pupils count in schools' results

    A landmark review of exclusions will demand the government revives plans to make schools retain responsibility for the results of pupils they exclude. Leaked documents show that the Timpson review will call for a “significant shift” for schools, alternative provision settings and councils, demanding that ministers “remove the potential” for heads to game the system

    21.30 Feb. 14th, 2019 | News

  • ‘Systematic failure’ lifts academy trust’s deficit to £2.4m

    An academy trust in charge of schools for excluded and vulnerable pupils unknowingly racked up a £2.4 million deficit because of a “systematic” failure in its financial systems. Annual accounts for 2017-18, published last week, have revealed the full extent of financial mismanagement at the TBAP Multi-Academy Trust. Leaders at the trust, which runs 11

    5.00 Feb. 8th, 2019 | News

  • AP school opens with just eight pupils

    The first alternative provision school to be run in the UK by a major charity that believes in personalising learning for each child is preparing to open in Doncaster – with eight pupils. The Big Picture School, which is based on a philosophy of adapting the environment to each child, is due to receive its

    5.00 Jan. 21st, 2019 | News

  • Spielman warns off-rolling 'could get worse' after sharp rise in pupils leaving school before GCSEs

    Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman has warned that the problem of schools removing pupils from the roll in order to manipulate exam results “absolutely could get worse” if it is not tackled effectively. Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live today, Spielman told listeners that the education watchdog is looking into the “worrying” issue of off-rolling,

    16.26 Aug. 28th, 2018 | News

  • Is this the real exclusions 'scandal' - leaving too many kids in mainstream?

    How can the education committee claim the current level of school exclusions is too high, when no one even knows what the correct level should be, argues John Blake Every child in England is entitled to an education. Thus, this week’s report from the parliamentary education committee, on the experiences of students removed from mainstream schools as

    12.00 Jul. 27th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Make schools publish termly exclusions and leavers data, and 9 other recommendations from the education committee

    Schools should be forced to publish termly data on the number of exclusions they make and the number of pupils who leave of their own volition, MPs have said. The parliamentary education committee has released a report on exclusions, which calls for a “bill of rights” for excluded pupils and improvements to alternative provision. Here

    0.01 Jul. 25th, 2018 | News

  • Out-of-date pregnancy guidance isn’t helping schools, say critics

    A worrying lack of up-to-date guidance on how to ensure pregnant pupils continue their education is fuelling a rise in the use of alternative provision for those expecting a baby. The government claims five-year-old advice on how to deal with pupils with “health needs” – which makes no specific mention of pregnancy – is good

    5.00 Jul. 22nd, 2018 | News

  • Alternative provision academy trusts keen to open secure schools

    Academy chains that cater for excluded pupils are keen to open new secure schools for young offenders, but the response from mainstream trusts has been muted. The government is encouraging trusts to bid for facilities for imprisoned pupils aged 12 to 17, two years after the idea of secure schools was first proposed by the

    5.00 Jun. 9th, 2018 | News