Westminster Education Forum

For booking-related queries or information on speaking please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk, or contact us: +44 (0)1344 864796.

Next steps for Alternative Provision in England

Morning, Wednesday, 24th April 2024


This conference will consider next steps for alternative provision in England.


It follows the Government’s SEND and AP Improvement Plan, published last year in response to its green paper consultation. Backed by £4.8m of funding, the plan includes:

  • aims to introduce new national standards, with new professional guidelines
  • recommendations for an extension to AP specialist taskforces, and investment in professional training to improve early intervention
  • additional specialist school places and approval for 33 new free schools
  • improved access to support through the digitisation of education, health and care (EHC) plans

With the Government appointing a SEND and alternative provision improvement board to oversee implementation of the plan, it will be an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to consider progress made on key measures, including the introduction of new national standards.


Delegates will assess priorities for further commitments in the plan, including:

  • better preparing students to return to mainstream education, as well as transitioning into adulthood
  • utilising AP both as an intervention tool and as high-quality standalone provision
  • introducing a national combined framework for AP and SEND, and improving direct interventions for young people through specialist taskforces

Attendees will discuss approaches to prevent children from needing to be excluded from school, and how to strengthen coordination across schools, local authorities and other services, as well as also looking at how to best engage with parents and guardians to identify children’s individual needs, navigate the system and improve young people’s experiences of AP.


Further sessions will consider AP system capacity and sustainability, following concerns over waiting times for access, the support required to successfully reintegrate children back into mainstream education, best practice in working with employers and further education institutions to develop support plans for young people, and the impact of work experience schemes.


The conference will also be an opportunity to consider the future for the AP workforce, with discussion on priorities for improving workload pressures, qualification options and upskilling for the existing workforce, the role of agency staff within the sector, and next steps for improving recruitment and retention.


We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with: Elizabeth Franey, Deputy Director, Alternative Provision and SAFE/AP Taskforce Division, DfE; Marie Gentles, Founder and Director, Gentles Guidance; Brenda McHugh, Co-Director of Service for Schools, Anna Freud Centre; and Kevin Buchanan and Dympna Woods, Executive Headteachers, EdStart Schools.


The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who are due to attend from DfE; Ofsted; DoE, NI; CMA; DWP; GLD; and NAO.



Keynote Speakers

Elizabeth Franey

Deputy Director, Alternative Provision and SAFE/AP Taskforce Division, Department for Education

Brenda McHugh

Co-Director of Service for Schools, Anna Freud Centre

Marie Gentles

Founder and Director, Gentles Guidance

Dympna Woods

Executive Headteacher, EdStart Schools

Kevin Buchanan

Executive Headteacher, EdStart Schools

Keynote Speakers

Marie Gentles

Founder and Director, Gentles Guidance

Dympna Woods

Executive Headteacher, EdStart Schools

Kevin Buchanan

Executive Headteacher, EdStart Schools

Brenda McHugh

Co-Director of Service for Schools, Anna Freud Centre

Elizabeth Franey

Deputy Director, Alternative Provision and SAFE/AP Taskforce Division, Department for Education

Chair

Lord Young of Norwood Green

Speakers

Kelly Dillon

Senior Manager, Progression, Transition and Removal of Barriers, The Careers & Enterprise Company

Chloe Tarrant-Stanton

Social Hub Lead, KX Recruit

Mike King

School Proprietor and Chief Executive Officer, Releasing Potential

Heather Stack

Director and Change Strategist, The Local Offer (SEND) Ltd

Sarah Johnson

Founder and President, Phoenix Education Consultancy

Shazad Ali

Lead of Alternative Provisions, Co-op Academy Grange

Nadia Shelton

14-16 and Schools Manager, Nottingham College

Kelly Champion

Contract Manager, Worcestershire County Council

Andrew Malcolm

Lecturer in Applied Social Studies, University of Bedfordshire