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Guide to Alternative Provision

Information for parents and carers about Alternative Provision (AP), how it works, and what to expect

Alternative Provision (AP) is education provision in which a pupil participates as part of their regular timetable, away from the site of the school and not led by school staff or by parents. Any enhanced or extended provision led by school staff on or off the school site does not come under the government definition of AP. A maintained school or academy can require any pupil to attend at any place outside the school premises to receive educational provision that is intended to improve the pupil's behaviour.

How AP works in Wiltshire

Wiltshire Approved Alternative Provision (WAAP) is a directory of privately run providers who meet the quality-assured standards set by the council for safeguarding, health and safety, and their teaching and learning arrangements. Schools are referred to the WAAP directory to select provision that best suits the needs of your child, and helps create their personalised timetable. Schools may choose providers not listed in the WAAP directory, however, in such cases the school is wholly responsible for the quality-assurance of the provision.

Frequently asked questions

Further information, advice and support

For more information about Alternative Provision, and sources of advice and support, search for alternative provision on the Right Choice (opens new window) website and Alternative provision, DfE ( (opens new window). There is also additional information that has been released by the Government in their SEND Improvement Plan.

Jargon Buster

A comprehensive guide to acronyms used by special educational needs and disability services.

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