What is alternative education provision?

Posted by
Hannah Hambleton
June 13, 2023
Alternative education provision on the Brightstar Futures programme

For many reasons, traditional mainstream education may not always meet the needs of every student. This can be for a number of reasons, including mental health challenges, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and behavioural or academic challenges. Alternative provision provides a pathway for students to continue their education, to achieve their full potential, and to thrive.

What are the types of alternative education provision?

There are different types of alternative education provision available in the UK, with each one being tailored to meet the specific needs of a young person.

These can include Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) and alternative curriculum providers. PRUs offer short-term or long-term placements for students who have been excluded, or at risk of being excluded from mainstream schools.

Alternative curriculum providers (such as Brightstar Futures) offer specialised courses and programs that cater to young people with specific needs, or require alternative approaches to traditional subjects. This can be using a variety of methods, including sport, arts based programmes, or outdoor education.

Alternative curriculum approaches can also support mainstream school attendance, where the young people attend one or two days a week. Working with mainstream schools can be a powerful collaborative approach to support a young person to thrive.

What are the benefits of alternative education provision?

Alternative education provision offers several benefits to young people who may struggle in mainstream settings. These can include:

  • Personalised support: Alternative provision allows for tailored support and smaller group sizes, enabling educators to focus on individual student needs and address specific learning challenges.
  • Flexibility and individualised learning: Alternative provision offers more flexible approaches to teaching and learning, allowing students to work at their own pace and explore alternative learning methods that suit their strengths and interests. This can include mentoring, 1-2-1 sessions and group discussions.
  • Enhanced wellbeing and emotional support: Alternative provision prioritises the emotional wellbeing of students, providing additional pastoral care, counselling, and support to help them increase self-confidence and improve mental health.

What role can sport play in alternative education?

Sport can play a significant role in alternative education by offering unique benefits and opportunities for students. Some of these include an opportunity to increase self-confidence, increase feelings of belonging, giving young people a different environment to thrive in, being part of a team or club, and improving their physical and mental well-being through exercise and activity.

In conclusion

Alternative education provision plays a vital role in the UK education system, offering a lifeline to students who may face challenges in mainstream schools. By providing personalised support, tailored learning approaches, and holistic well-being support, alternative provision empowers students to continue their education, develop their skills, and ultimately achieve their full potential. It is a crucial component of an inclusive and comprehensive education system that strives to meet the diverse needs of all learners.

To find out more about the Brightstar Futures alternative education programme, visit our page here, or contact Joe Lockley on [email protected]

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