Progress Education calls on Government to increase regulation of alternative provision schools
Merseyside-based Progress Education is today launching a new campaign calling on Government to better regulate alternative provision secondary schools.
Progress Education, part of Progress Group, operates 13 independent alternative provision secondary schools across the UK, and believes there should be a legal requirement for any school teaching children for more than eight hours per week to register and be subject to an Ofsted inspection.
Progress Education MD James Madine explained: “In recent years, there’s been a huge rise in the number of unregistered independent schools.
“Typically, the children who attend an unregulated school are some of the most vulnerable in society, and unregistered providers can put them at greater risk by denying them an appropriate education.
“These providers aren’t subject to an inspection of safeguarding or quality of education, so it’s impossible for authorities to understand what measures are in place to support pupils.”
James said: “We know that the lack of registered provision for excluded pupils is a contributing factor to why children fall through the net and become caught up in violence and criminal exploitation.
“So that’s why we’re calling on the Government to tighten its definition of what actually constitutes a school.
Progress Education knows that tackling the many unregistered providers will require a collaborative effort.
“We are also asking Local Authorities to commission more alternative provision. When choices are limited, pupils get funnelled into unregistered providers.
James concluded: “The Government, Local Authorities, Department for Education and Ofsted, must all work together to ensure that every pupil excluded from mainstream education receives the support they deserve.”