Pupil referral units conversion to alternative provision academies in 2012 to 2013

This guidance is for pupil referral units (PRUs) considering converting to alternative provision academies.



The Education Act 2011 creates a new type of academy - alternative provision (AP) academies.

There is only one category of AP Academy in law. However, there are a number of ways to become AP Academy including: PRUs converting to become AP Academies; new providers (such as brand new AP provision or existing independent provision) entering the state funded sector as AP Free Schools; and PRUs becoming AP Academies with the support of a sponsor.

This guidance is for Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) that wish to convert to AP Academies. AP Academies will cater principally for children of compulsory school age who, by reason of illness, exclusion from school or otherwise, may not otherwise receive suitable education.


  • Introduction
  • Context
  • Things to consider before registering an interest
  • Funding
  • The process explained
  • Setting up the Academy Trust and Governing Body
  • Examples of governance
  • Other elements of the conversion process
  • Further information and guidance
Published 15 December 2012