We don’t actually know how many children are educated in alternative provision nor how many providers exist. Yet these are some of our most vulnerable children and their safeguarding and education is paramount. We believe the government has a duty to collect and publish data of comparable – or better – quality as for children in mainstream schools.
Below are some of the things researchers cannot currently tell you, either with any accuracy – or at all – about exclusions and alternative provision.
While we do know that four in ten prisoners were previously permanently excluded from school, we don’t have any other information on long-term life outcomes for this cohort of pupils, such as labour market information.
With a growing trend towards alternative provision bases or on-site inclusion units in mainstream schools, research is sorely needed into the characteristics of good quality provision.
A government-commissioned research review identified very little literature detailing the effectiveness of different approaches to curriculum design and adaptation in alternative provision.
Publish all pupil moves into alternative provision that happen without a permanent exclusion, alongside official exclusion rates.
Track all pupil moves out of schools: where they move to and why.
Require schools to record in the school census how many pupils they direct into alternative provision, and for how long.
Remove “other” as a reporting category for exclusions.
Record data on reintegration attempts – successful and unsuccessful – from alternative provision into mainstream schools.
Require schools to report the number of days pupils spend in internal isolation.
Collect the same information about children in alternative provision, via the AP Census, as for mainstream schools.
Require all alternative providers to register with the Department for Education, whatever their size.
Keep a register of all pupils not in mainstream education.
Capture reasons for children moving from school into home education.
Require all alternative provision schools to report total pupil-days for each year.
Calculate the spend per-pupil-per-day on alternative provision in each area.