Alternative Education Quality Assurance Framework

KS4 Alternative Education Quality Assurance Framework

Thousands of children and young people across England receive some or all of their education in settings other than school. It is vital that pupils accessing alternative provision continue to receive a quality service, with an appropriate curriculum delivered by quality staff, in a safe environment with good facilities and efficient referral processes.

Where a school commissions an alternative education placement, it retains responsibilities relating to the pupil that cannot be transferred to the external provider. The school must ensure that the provision is of good quality, value for money and meets the pupils needs around curriculum, safeguarding and welfare.

To assist our schools in this process, Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council has implemented a quality assurance framework and now provides a directory of approved providers who have been assessed as meeting a minimum standard. The framework and directory provides a consistent measure of quality and reduces the need for alternative education providers to be quality-assessed by more than one institution within Redcar and Cleveland.

Requirements of Framework
  • Ofsted registration as an Independent School*
  • Appropriate governance arrangements and financial standing
  • For full time provision, ability to deliver an appropriately broad accredited curriculum offer including accredited functional maths, English & ICT
  • Compliance with minimum standards for:
    - Safeguarding including learner Health, Safety and Welfare
    - Equal Opportunities
    - Data Protection / Information Sharing

It is anticipated that this framework will raise the standards of alternative education in the borough and increase the breadth of the offer available to young people. The intention is to review the Directory annually and add more providers through an annual procurement process. Providers that fail to maintain standards in the meantime will be removed from the Directory.

Responsibilities of Schools

This process has been developed for secondary schools maintained by the Local Authority. It does not, however, devolve the responsibilities of individual commissioning schools and does not remove or affect any of the statutory obligations and duties upon schools in relation to the provision of education or the exclusion of young people from school.

Any young person placed by a school in alternative education provision, either full or part time, remains on the roll of that school. The responsibility for delivering the full-time statutory education offer and all other duties in respect of that child remains with the school.

Specifically, in the context of this framework, it remains the responsibility of schools to:
  • commission, negotiate and fund individual placements
  • assess each young persons needs to ensure that they are placed in the right provision on the right programme at the right level with challenging targets
  • undertake ongoing monitoring of individual placements and track the progress of young people they have placed
  • highlight and act upon any concerns and inform the Local Authority as appropriate
  • any transport arrangements necessary for a pupil to access commissioned provision (and associated costs) are the responsibility of the commissioning school (this is consistent with the home to school travel policy).

Schools have the option to use other providers who have not been assessed and approved through the Local Authority process but must ensure that they have a robust process in place for quality-assuring those providers. Local authorities still retain an ongoing duty of care towards all children and young people within their area, and commissioners should bear this in mind when engaging providers.

Please note that academies retain the same statutory responsibilities but because they are not maintained by the Local Authority they are not covered by this framework or the associated Local Authority contract for services.

* An independent school is defined as any school that provides full time education for five or more pupils of compulsory school age or one or more such pupils with a statement of special educational needs or who is looked after (within the meaning of Section 22 of the Children Act 1989) and is not a school maintained by a Local Authority or a non-maintained special school.

Alternative Education Directory of Approved Providers

 icon Directory of Approved Providers Jan 2015.pdf (115.93k)
Last modified: 19/01/2015 11:00:49

 icon Referral Form.doc (148.5k)
Last modified: 17/06/2014 10:17:42


The approved providers 2014-2016 are:
  • Core Assets Childrens Services
  • East Coast Training
  • Educ8 Consultancy Ltd
  • Nacro
  • North East Autism Society
  • Prior Education Services Ltd
  • Redcar and Cleveland Training Centre
  • Skill Force
  • Sport Works Ltd
  • The Princes Trust
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Last updated:
01/06/2016

Assigned review date:
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