Alternative Learning Provision

Alternative Learning Provision

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 Catalogue

Download the PAL System Provider Catalogue (pdf, 851KB) (opens new window)

The PAL System Provider Catalogue for Bristol includes two lists of approved providers: 

  • Full-time and revolving door alternative learning provision
  • Part-time alternative learning provision

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 and may use providers who are on either the full-time or part-time list. 

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, pricing and contact details. 

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  Advice for Schools, Commissioners and Alternative Providers ,September 2019 (pdf, 294KB) (opens new window)

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 Using AP in Bristol  Advice to Schools  and Commissioners, September 2019 (pdf, 387KB) (opens new window) .  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:

Chris Davies
Headteacher, Alternative Learning Provision (ALP Hub), Bristol City Council

Natasha Spence
Education Inclusion Manager, ALP Hub, Bristol City Council

Julie Ley
Senior Business and Administration Support Officer, ALP Hub, Bristol City Council