Education other than at school (EOTAS)

Alternative provision or ‘Education Other Than at School (EOTAS)’ is arranged by local authorities for children who are unable to attend mainstream school for reasons such as exclusion, medical conditions or significant mental health needs.

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Local authority education other than at school  

Alternative provision for children who are temporarily unable to access mainstream schools in South Gloucestershire is provided by the Pathways Learning Centre (PLC).  

PLC is a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) which operates as a short stay school and provides education and support for children aged between 5-16 years. PLC supports children with varying needs who may be temporarily unable to attend their mainstream school for a variety of reasons.  The majority of children return to their mainstream school, or transition to a new school or setting. 

Admissions to PLC are discussed monthly via a referral panel. Referrals are completed by schools and/or medical professionals, as it is essential that there is supporting medical evidence which supports the referral. PLC is not a ‘direct admission’ school and therefore cannot accept referrals from parents/carers.

You can find further information on the Pathways Learning Centre website.

For more information on alternative provision, see below. 

Education in hospital  

If your child is unwell aged between 5-16 years old and in hospital for a long time, they can access education as an in-patient through the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. 

The hospital also teaches siblings of long stay patients who have come from another local authority and are staying in hospital accommodation temporarily. 

You can find further information on the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children website.

Alternative provision

Despite the best efforts of all professionals involved, mainstream schools may not meet the needs of all children and young people at specific times during their schooling for various reasons.

Alternative provision (AP) is for pupils who can't attend mainstream educational settings because of health, emotional or behavioural reasons. It is time-limited intervention with clear goals and the expectation of a better outcome for the child than if they stayed in school.

AP providers can offer high quality off-site tutoring or therapeutic intervention services to meet children and young people’s varied and complex needs. They can also offer in-school early intervention to help keep young people stay in school and to support staff to meet their needs.

You can find out more about Alternative provision, including when your child might be offered this, and how you will be involved in the process, in our Guidance for parents and carers. We have also produced a short guide for children and young people

Bristol City Council, North Somerset Council and South Gloucestershire Council are working together to jointly commission a framework for alternative learning provision. Providers that are approved onto the framework have been through an application process and have been marked and moderated by all three local authorities. The application process is rigorous and covers safeguarding, business continuity, equalities, and a pricing schedule, alongside quality questions on curriculum and service offer, engagement, partnership working and transitions.

South Gloucestershire Council recommends that schools and commissioners only use alternative providers on the framework, which can be found using the link below. For children with an EHCP, provision MUST be commissioned from the framework. For further guidance, please visit the South Gloucestershire Inclusion Toolkit

You can view South Gloucestershire’s Alternative Provision Directory here