Statutory guidance

Alternative provision

Statutory guidance for local authorities and headteachers and governing bodies of all educational settings providing alternative provision.



This statutory guidance is for:

  • headteachers
  • local authorities
  • governing bodies

It applies to all educational settings providing alternative provision:

  • maintained schools
  • academies and free schools
  • pupil referral units

This guidance covers the use of alternative provision where education is arranged by:

  • local authorities for pupils who, because of exclusion, illness or other reasons, would not otherwise receive suitable education
  • schools for pupils on a fixed-period exclusion
  • schools for pupils to improve their behaviour off-site

It came into effect from 1 January 2013 and replaces the following guidance documents on alternative provision and pupil referral units:

  • ‘Commissioning alternative provision: guidance for local authorities and schools’
  • ‘The constitution, roles and responsibilities of management committees’
  • ‘The operation of management committees’
  • ‘Guidance for local authorities and schools: pupil referral units and alternative provision’