Education other than at school (EOTAS)

Information on the support available for children and young people who cannot attend mainstream education.

Pupils who are educated "other than at school" are those who, for whatever reason, cannot access a mainstream school. This is also known as alternative provision.

This doesn't include children and young people who are home educated or attend a pupil referral unit.

All alternative education provision is run by qualified teachers and non-teaching staff who work with pupils to develop individual programmes of learning.

Who needs alternative provision?

Pupils who might be education in alternative provision include those who:

  • cannot access a mainstream school due to medical reasons
  • are permanently excluded from a mainstream school
  • have a Statement of Special Education Needs which says it is not appropriate for them to attend a mainstream school
  • are teenage mothers and cannot attend a mainstream school
  • are new to the area and are awaiting a school placement

Please read our EOTAS policy (PDF, 150KB) for more information.

When can pupils access alternative provision?

Medical pupils can be offered provision once the local authority receives confirmation of their illness from a medical professional.

Pupils out of school on medical grounds are currently offered at least 5 hours provision a week, depending on their individual needs.

Pupils who have been permanently excluded from a mainstream school are eligible for provision from the sixth working day following their exclusion.

Looked after children who are permanently excluded are eligible for full-time provision 24 hours after the exclusion has been issued.

Full-time provision is up to 25 hours a week.

Where is alternative 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.

EOTAS only provides short term support. We want pupils to return to mainstream schools, which is achieved by working closely with children and young people, their parents, carers and other agencies where appropriate.

Contact a Local Offer Broker

Western Suffolk

Clare Brown
Call 01284 758784 9am to 4pm or email

Shirley Dixon
Call 01284 758757 9am to 4pm or email

Northern Suffolk

Lisa Gowen
Call 01502 674714 9am to 4pm or email

Joy Derbyshire-Baldwin
Call 01502 674717 9am to 4pm or email

South Suffolk

Kirsty Mower
Call 01473 265732 9am to 4pm or email

Diane Knights
Call 01473 265208 9am to 4pm or email

Sarah Bailey
Call 01473 265174 Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 9:15am to 1:30pm or email