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In January 2019, 16,134 pupils solely or mainly attended state-funded alternative provision (AP) at a pupil referral unit, AP academy or free school. A further 10,288 pupils attended this type of provision in addition to their main provider. As of October 2019, there are 327 alternative providers (including pupil referral units, AP academies and free schools).
An additional 26,128 pupils attended other forms of AP for which they received local authority funding. This includes independent schools, further education colleges offering pre-16 provision, and unregistered settings including home schooling. As such, there is no central list of these providers.
The department is currently looking closely at what we need to do to ensure AP provides high quality education and the right support for these children that will enable them to succeed. The department wants to be as ambitious for them as we are for all children and young people.
As part of this the government has launched a £4 million AP Innovation Fund which is delivering 9 projects focused on testing ways to improve outcomes for children in AP.