Statutory guidance

Alternative provision

Statutory guidance for local authorities, as well as headteachers and governing bodies of settings providing alternative provision.


Alternative provision


This statutory guidance is for:

  • headteachers
  • local authorities
  • governing bodies

It applies to all educational settings providing alternative provision (AP):

AP settings are places that provide education for children who can’t go to a mainstream school.

This guidance covers the use of AP where:

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

Read the ‘DfE intervention powers in pupil referral units’ document for details of changes coming into force on 27 June 2016.

Statutory guidance sets out what schools and local authorities must do to comply with the law. You should follow the guidance unless you have a very good reason not to.