For most young people, the best place to undertake their education is in a mainstream school. This could be a local authority school, an independent or free school or an academy.
Pupils who are educated ‘other than at school’ are those who for whatever reason, cannot access mainstream school. Another common term for this type of education is 'alternative provision'. EOTAS does not include children and young people who are home educated or those attending a pupil referral unit.
Why would a child or young person need alternative education provision?
Pupils who might be educated in alternative provision include:
- Pupils who cannot access mainstream due to medical reasons.
- Pupils who are permanently excluded from mainstream school.
- Those pupils who have a Statement of Special Educational Needs that states it is not appropriate for them to attend mainstream school.
- Teenage mothers who are not able to access their mainstream school.
- Pupils who are new to the area and are awaiting a school placement.
The current draft version of the Local Authority's EOTAS policy is available below. Please note that this document replaces all previous policy statements relating to EOTAS provision in Suffolk.
Download the Suffolk County Council Education Other than At School (EOTAS) policy statement (PDF 140Kb)
At what point can pupils access alternative provision?
- Medical pupils can be offered provision once the Local Authority receives confirmation of illness from a paediatrician or equivalent specialist medical professional.
- Pupils who are permanently excluded from school are eligible for full-time provision from the sixth working day following their official exclusion.
- Looked After Children who are permanently excluded are eligible for full-time provision 24 hours after the permanent exclusion has been issued.
What is the structure of alternative education provision?
- Pupils out of school on medical grounds are currently offered from 5 hours provision per week depending on their individual needs.
- Pupils who are permanently excluded are offered full-time provision which is up to 25 hours per week.
All alternative education provision is run by qualified teachers and non-teaching staff who work with pupils to develop individual programmes of learning. In Key Stage 4 pupils are can access GCSEs and vocational subjects.
Transport is provided if the pupil meets the criteria as set out in Suffolk County Council’s transport policy.
Where is the provision available?
There are a variety of group provisions available across the county. In exceptional circumstances individual tuition can be offered. The provision may include vocational packages and work experience.
It is important to emphasise that Education Other than at School only provides short-term support. A key priority for Suffolk is supporting pupils to return to mainstream school, and this is achieved by working closely with the children and young people, their parents and carers and other agencies where appropriate.