What is Alternative Provision from Fleet Education Services?

The number of pupils attending Alternative Provision (AP) has increased by over 3,100 (10%) to 35,600 in 2021/22, according to government figures. Annually around 135,000 children of compulsory school age receive alternative provision, with 70,000 pupils at any one time.


The positive outcomes of alternative provision, including improved student engagement, behaviour, and academic achievement, have led to its recognition as an effective approach. Government initiatives that prioritise providing appropriate education for all students have resulted in increased funding and support for alternative provision.


Fleet Education Services provide alternative provision for learners who are unable to attend an educational setting. This could be due to physical illness, behavioural reasons, mental health, or complex needs, including special educational needs (SEN) and social, emotional, and mental health difficulties (SEMH) as well as extreme disadvantage. All of our learners experience at least one of those conditions, with 75% experiencing two. 


Our AP programmes serve as an interim replacement for school. They aim to close student attainment gaps and re-engage them in education to maximise their potential. Throughout the programme, tutors work to get pupils ready to return to permanent education. During this time, Fleet Education Services has contact with the local authority (LA) and/or school.


AP usually takes place with one-to-one lessons, delivered by qualified tutors who either hold qualified teaching status or degrees in their subjects and have extensive SEN expertise. Often, the only alternative to our support would be a residential special school – with cost implications, and the risk of permanent alienation from mainstream education.


When choosing an AP provider, local authorities and schools should consider the quality and safety of the provision. A good alternative provision provider will:


  • Support pupils with their personal, social, and academic needs, and enable them to overcome barriers to attainment and obtain qualifications
  • Motivate pupils to learn, develop their self-confidence, and improve their attendance and engagement
  • Help pupils reintegrate into mainstream education
  • Have robust tracking and progress reporting systems
  • Have trained and qualified tutors to help pupils make progress


Flexibility at the core

With AP, Fleet’s experienced programme managers develop a holistic learning programme for each pupil’s needs. These flexible education programmes are designed around the learners’ objectives. The programme includes up to five subjects, from five to 25 hours weekly for up to one academic year. Programmes include GCSEs, Functional Skills, and A-level/A2 where appropriate.


Alternative Provision management made easy

A dedicated AP tuition coordinator is the point of contact for ongoing programme management. A programme manager oversees the education programme and tuition. They liaise with parents or carers, tutors, schools, and the learner to design the programme and set targets, standards of behaviour, and attendance. Our programme managers have SEN, SEMH, or Social, Emotional, and Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD) expertise. This enables them to address any issues if they arise.


Learner-centred programme plans

Programme planning involves the learner and parent/carers, and relevant stakeholders. This ensures a coordinated approach to your learners’ programme, tailored to their needs, circumstances, and goals. This can be useful for students with neurodiverse conditions.


Metacognition theory, that children can improve their learning by managing their thinking, can help disengaged learners by teaching them metacognitive and self-regulatory strategies. This can help students become aware of their own learning processes, enabling them to understand their strengths and weaknesses and develop strategies to overcome challenges.


Experienced educators

We match tutors to learners based on their ability to build rapport and how they deal with behaviour. All tutors have completed accredited training in delivering effective tuition, safeguarding, and child protection. We vet tutors in accordance with Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) guidance.


Tutors will adapt their teaching to the needs of their learners. As Fathi, an AP tutor for Fleet Education Services, explains: “As individuals are different, so are their needs. To meet the individual’s needs, we apply a learner-centred approach. This approach builds supportive and trusting relationships between myself and the individuals within my care.”


Your tutor will adapt their teaching resources and approach to meet the needs of your pupil/s to accelerate engagement and progress.


Exam Preparation

Our tutors understand exam board specifications and work with learners to develop their confidence, skills, and technique. We can enter learners for exams and locate exam centres if required. Providing the name of the exam board and special arrangement information at the time of referral is helpful.


Quality Assurance (QA)

Our QA Framework sets out how we support a high level of service for clients and learners throughout the learning programme. The QA team moderates tutor reports, individual learning plans (ILP) and progress reports for

  • quality
  • adherence to safeguarding
  • KCSIE policies

They also carry out observations and provide ongoing tutor training and CPD.


Our safeguarding team ensure that tutors are aware of their responsibilities and have briefings and training.


The Alternative Provision process

We aim to complete a setup meeting within ten days of referral confirmation, with tuition beginning on an agreed date after this.

  1. Proposal: We email all documents, including terms and conditions for approval.
  2. Tutor Selection: The programme manager or tuition coordinator recruits the most appropriate tutor(s).
  3. Tuition Setup: Your programme manager reviews documents, and agrees on objectives and outcomes before briefing the tutor(s). The programme manager and stakeholders agree on an ILP for the learner.
  4. Programme Confirmation:  Your programme manager will summarise the baseline assessment requirements, targets, and approach.
  5. Tuition Goes Live: Your tuition coordinator finalises the programme, confirms dates, and registers the learner on our virtual learning platform STEPS.
  6. Progress Reporting Attendance: Monthly updates take place against the ILP, and the tutor provides progress updates. A final programme summary at the end of tuition is provided.


Regular review

We keep you informed about learner progress. Programme managers and/or the tutor can attend the annual review meeting for Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) learners, providing written input to annual reviews.


Progress made in real-time

To start the process, each pupil completes an online assessment. The tutor uses the results to design a bespoke learning plan that will guide each tuition session. The secure online tuition platform enables tutors and pupil(s) to share learning resources, including a whiteboard, a text editor, and other interactive tools to make learning engaging.


STEPS: raising attainment

Tutors report attendance, behaviour, and engagement for each teaching session on our Student and Tutor Educational Performance System (STEPS). This tailors learning to every individual and makes progress trackable.


Clients have access to STEPS reports. There is a progress report every six weeks where the tutor reassesses the pupil and measures progress against set targets. They outline the learning plan and targets for the next six weeks.


With STEPS, clients can view real-time data on

  • attendance
  • attainment
  • progress
  • behaviour
  • engagement


There are also cohort reports that summarise the performance of every pupil referred, so schools can see the progress of all their pupils in one place.



All AP programmes aim to achieve an agreed-upon schedule of improvement. 87%* of completed programmes met or exceeded that target and 80%* of learners achieved a 10% increase in assessed score compared to their initial assessment (to date 2023*).


Fleet Education Services is a leading provider in AP support to Local Authorities.  To arrange alternative provision, contact us today: https://fleeteducationservices.com/solutions/