What Alternative Learning Provision is, who it is for, where it is provided in Bristol.

Alternative Learning Provision is for pupils who can't attend mainstream educational settings because of health, emotional or behavioural reasons.

Our Alternative Learning Provision (ALP) Hub arranges alternative provision in Bristol.

The service includes: 

The ALP Hub commissions alternative provision from a range of alternative providers on our behalf.  The ALP Hub also offers support and advice to:

  • schools
  • other commissioners
  • professionals
  • parents
  • alternative learning providers

All alternative providers provided by us have gone through a stringent process of quality assurance and been included onto a framework agreement of alternative provision.

Alternative Learning Provision Framework

Search online for a provider by name, key stage or online provision using our Alternative Learning Provider Finder.

The finder has information about Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire approved providers.

Schools are expected to conduct their own quality assurance of all and any places commissioned it is recommended that schools use Local Authority approved providers. This should be considered when commissioning ALP placements from providers on the framework.

All full-time placements, including revolving door placements, into alternative provision should be agreed in advance by the Bristol Inclusion and Fair Access Panel (BIFAP).

The placement will then be arranged via our  ALP Hub with a provider on the full-time list.

Schools will make their own arrangements for part-time alternative learning provision.

Advice for schools, commissioners and alternative providers

Alternative Provision Quality Assurance and Unregistered Schools

Following consultation with the DfE and Ofsted HMI, we are taking steps to ensure that part-time alternative learning providers in Bristol are operating lawfully.  Full-time education should be made in a school.  AP shouldn't be used as a sole long-term education offer for children without the alternative provider having independent school status, registered with the DfE.   See   pdf Advice for Schools, Commissioners and Alternative Providers, September 2022 (120 KB)

Alternative Provision Commissioning and Advice for schools, commissioners and alternative providers

For detailed advice and statutory considerations about commissioning and quality assuring alternative provision see  pdf Using AP in Bristol  Advice to Schools  and Commissioners, September 2019 (387 KB) .  This is based on statutory guidance and gives a set of guiding principles that Bristol schools and another commissioning bodies should follow to ensure that children and young people benefit from high quality provision which is safe, secure and appropriate to their individual needs. 

For further information contact:

Mark Kennedy
Headteacher, Alternative Learning Provision (ALP Hub), Bristol City Council
Email: mark.kennedy@bristol.gov.uk

Natasha Spence
Education Inclusion Manager, ALP Hub, Bristol City Council
Email: natasha.spence@bristol.gov.uk Go to mailto:natasha.spence@bristol.gov.uk (opens new window)