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.

PAL System Provider Framework

Use our  pdf PAL System Provider Catalogue (914 KB)  or search online for a provider by name,  key stage or online provision using our Alternative Learning Provider Finder

The PAL System Provider Catalogue for Bristol approved providers.

The catalogue was developed in partnership with the ourselves and Bristol schools, and will last until 2021. 

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

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

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

Schools should refer to the most up to date version of this PAL System Catalogue for current details of each provider's service offer including any specialisms and suitability criteria and contact details. Schools should contact providers directly for up to date pricing. 

The catalogue will be regularly updated as new providers join the PAL system or existing providers vary their offer.

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)