Here is everything you need to know about the AP Quality Toolkit. You can find key information, view the toolkit and access downloadable resources to support implementation of the toolkit in your context.
Currently, there are significant factors which impede efforts to truly understand AP practice and performance and achieve meaningful and sustainable system improvements. As a result, there are vast inconsistencies in quality across the sector and some AP pupils do not receive the high-quality education and support they require and deserve.
The AP Quality Toolkit has been developed through extensive collaboration with AP sector stakeholders and represents the most viable and comprehensive approach ever developed to evaluate and improve AP quality.
We want all stakeholders to implement the AP Quality Toolkit. The toolkit can facilitate greater collaboration within local education eco-systems, such as between local authorities, AP leaders, commissioners and other agencies. By creating a shared consensus of the characteristics of good quality AP, policy makers, school leaders and commissioners will be able to develop strategies which lead to genuine and sustainable improvements.
We have received 109 endorsements from colleagues working in and around the AP sector. Including Multi-Academy Trust CEO’s, headteachers, local council leaders, AP practitioners and charity workers.
We have been piloting in 5 areas: Blackpool, Tameside, Sheffield, Gloucestershire and Plymouth. Each of the pilot areas have explored how the toolkit can improve AP quality evaluation and improvement planning in their context.
Our pilot programme and ongoing collaboration with the sector are demonstrating the value, relevance and utility of the toolkit in all contexts. 7 different uses have been identified and trialled.
The AP Quality Toolkit has garnered widespread support from across the sector and the country. This map shows our pilot areas and the locations of endorsers who support this approach to evaluating and improving AP quality.
Recognises that AP schools and providers are part of the wider educational eco-system that safeguards and supports pupils. Strong relationships and effective partnerships are crucial components of AP quality.
Accounts for the support and education provided to pupils. It draws attention to aspects that are particularly pertinent for AP settings such as pupil induction, quality of education as well as physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Focuses on the outcomes and value gained by pupils in AP, including personal development, academic performance and successful transition to appropriate destinations.
What are the characteristics of good quality AP? The toolkit identifies 13 quality areas, including Workforce development and wellbeing (1), Pupil induction (5) and Appropriate transition (12). The 13 quality areas, which are separated into the three categories – community, curriculum and currency are important aspects of AP that impact upon pupils’ experience, education and outcomes.
The overarching recommendation is to ‘Implement the Alternative Provision Quality Toolkit’. On page 17 we outline how this recommendation can be adopted by each stakeholder group. We have recommendations for The Department for Education, Ofsted, Local Authorities, AP Schools and providers, all commissioners of AP and mainstream schools with in-school AP.
The toolkit includes evaluative questions which help to structure reflections and conversations about each quality area. They have been developed and refined through our school and local authority pilot programmes. These questions can be used by leaders and other stakeholders during self-evaluation, quality assurance, commissioning and peer review.
Examples of practice
We have created 14 ‘examples of practice’, which give a flavour of existing practice in AP. They are not intended to be used as blueprints or to be seen as perfect case studies. Instead, they have been included as a continuation of the collaborative approach we have taken with AP leaders throughout this project.