Vocational Alternative Provision

Alternative Provision

“Giving options to students who thought they had no options.”

Do you have any disaffected year 9, 10 or 11 pupils?

Have you got pupils who:

  • Have a risk of fixed term or permanent exclusion?
  • Have poor attendance and punctuality?
  • Have uniform and truancy issues?
  • Are you looking for an alternative curriculum?
  • Is the education of other pupils being disrupted?
  • Are your teachers being stopped from delivering lessons?

Castles Education are currently accepting students on a high-quality work-based alternative curriculum programme in the North West.

To discuss how we can help, contact info@castleseducation.co.uk or 0161 914 9185

What is vocational or alternative provision?

For some pupils, a formal academic curriculum is not appropriate. Some disaffected pupils require a unique learning experience tailored to their individual needs. For these pupils, a vocational programme has been shown to be an effective way of raising engagement, increasing aspirations and improving attendance.

A vocational provision allows pupils to focus more on gaining practical work-based skills or a specific trade, such as engineering, hairdressing or plumbing. In addition to the vocational aspect of this pathway, pupils also complete core academic qualifications. We work hard to ensure that the students on our work based alternative provision reach a level of academic achievement on par with mainstream schools – particularly in English, maths and science with appropriate accreditation and qualifications. This ensures a school can demonstrate it provides a curriculum that meets the needs of all its pupils.

Schools may use such provision to prevent pupil exclusions or to re-engage pupils in their education.

The main aim of the Castles Education vocational programme is to give options to students who thought they had no options.

Alternative provision solutions by Castles Education

At Castles Education, we use our experience as senior leaders to provide high-quality work placements that benefit both pupils and schools. We are experts in the supply and coordination of alternative provision on behalf of our client schools.

Tutoring options are flexible, starting from 1 day a week, and can be designed to work alongside your existing 14 – 16 provisions, complementing and enhancing the alternatives you may already have in place.

Castles Education will find an appropriate work placement for the students you refer to the programme, and lead liaison between the school, the pupil and the employer.

Our staff will organise all the necessary administrative systems, policies and procedures, saving your school time and additional resources.

Our fully managed service includes:

  • 1-1 tuition in core GCSEs.
  • Rigorous safeguarding review including DBS checks.
  • Ongoing health and safety checks.
  • Risk assessments.
  • Employer’s insurance checks.
  • Pupil ‘Skills and Career Development Portfolio.’
  • Regular pupil progress visits.
  • Daily attendance reporting.
  • Liaison with parents and carers.
  • Tailored to the individual needs of the pupil.

Who teaches the curriculum in a vocational programme?

Our core subject tutors receive additional training, so they can help support schools who wish to run their own quality work based alternative curriculum programme in the North West region. Our tutors have the appropriate training to manage young people in this group. They are skilled at delivering the core subjects in a way that helps to re-engage disaffected students and improve outcomes. Alternative provision educators seek out ways to make learning new and exciting on an individual student basis.

The teachers on this programme are student centred and student-focused with a belief that all students can succeed.

They are available to conduct 1-1 or small group interventions in your school.

Castles Education will also source relevant vocational placements for students with local businesses, carry out the relevant health and safety checks and ensure DBS and safeguarding compliance at all times.

Benefits of an alternative provision for schools

A good alternative provision takes an individualised instructional approach which considers the academic, social and emotional needs of the individual.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Improved results and attendance
  • Reduced chance of being NEET
  • Increased levels of engagement
  • Reduced exclusions
  • Improved employability
  • Increased aspirations

How alternative provision can help with Ofsted ratings

Ofsted demands that a school’s curriculum matches the needs of all its pupils and allows them to make progress which is evaluated as ‘good’ as a minimum. It should also contribute well to their behaviour, welfare, wider development and achievement.

Offering a more targeted and relevant alternative curriculum to underachieving, disengaged pupils may be essential if your school is to demonstrate it meets this requirement.

This is often particularly true for schools in challenging situations who have a relatively larger proportion of pupils who require alternative provision solutions. For example, a strong vocational programme can be beneficial in helping schools to move out of special measures.

How work based alternative provision works

Working in partnership with a network of supportive and proactive employers allows young people to gain work-based experience whilst completing a curriculum.

Our tutors will work with local businesses to place pupils into a suitable work-based setting for an agreed period of time each week.

Once a curriculum is agreed, a number of options are available.

The school, Castles Education’s tutors or a combination of both can deliver core subjects.

We are happy to source an off-site local community base for the tutoring to take place, use your school or invite your teachers to an off-site location in order to deliver the appropriate lessons.

Throughout the programme, our team will ensure attendance, punctuality and safeguarding policies are strictly adhered to.

Following our daily attendance and welfare calls to each placement, any absences or potential safeguarding issues will be investigated immediately by Castles’ safeguarding team, who will liaise with the family, school and safeguarding authorities as necessary.

What do students think about vocational programmes?

Vocational programmes are often seen as an attractive option by pupils who are struggling at school. They are usually keen to start gaining practical skills and experiences which will allow them to leave school with a career.

Underachieving pupils become tired and frustrated with the constant attention and scrutiny they are under after long-term challenges within a mainstream school system.

They view an alternative provision programme as a place where they are better understood, respected and supported. They feel more in control of their future and are no longer fighting an uphill struggle in a mainstream system that for whatever reason doesn’t suit them.

How to access the Castles Education vocational programme

Either email info@castleseducation.co.uk or call us on 0161 914 9185 to speak to one of our senior leaders and begin designing your alternative provision. Next, we visit you in your school to discuss exactly what you need and how we can help.

Your Castles contact will supply and co-ordinate your alternative provision solutions, supporting you, your pupils and their families, every step of the way.

Limited places are available so call today on 0161 914 9185.

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"Castles Education are a great agency. The staff there are very professional. Kim and Annabel are two lovely people who are always ever so helpful. I highly recommend working for these guys,they have helped me take my first step into teaching after graduating."
Paul Downing
Graduate Teaching Assistant