Strengthening protections in unregistered alternative provision

Closes 5 Jul 2024

Opened 9 May 2024


The Department for Education is consulting on proposals to strengthen protections for children in unregistered alternative provision settings.

This consultation is the next step in delivering on the government’s commitment to improving experiences and outcomes for children in unregistered alternative provision and builds on the findings from our previous Call for Evidence “Understanding the Use of Unregistered Alternative Provision”, the findings of which have helped shape this consultation.

We are seeking views on proposals which position unregistered alternative provision as an intervention, not a destination, to complement education in school.

We propose that all unregistered alternative provision will be subject to new proportionate quality assurance frameworks, underpinned by national standards.

We believe that, if implemented, this approach will deliver a balanced and proportionate pathway to protect the children that this diverse sector supports and educates.


Why your views matter

The findings from this consultation will help us take the necessary steps to improve the use, quality and oversight of unregistered alternative provision. 

Give us your views


  • Teachers
  • Headteachers
  • Governors
  • School support staff
  • Training providers
  • Local authorities
  • Independent specialist colleges
  • Designated safeguarding leads
  • Virtual school heads
  • SENCOs
  • Educational Psychologists
  • School business managers
  • Governing bodies and academy trusts
  • Bodies representing schools and local authorities
  • Pupils
  • Young people
  • Parents
  • Foster carers
  • Adoptive parents
  • Employers
  • Community representatives
  • Volunteers
  • Social workers
  • Unions and representative organisations
  • Government bodies and departments
  • Those evaluating programmes for children in need
  • Those involved in underlying theoretical research on abuse and neglect, child development etc
  • Those researching children’s social care or education systems, with links to educational outcomes of Children in Need
  • Academies (including free schools), voluntary aided schools, voluntary controlled schools, foundation schools and community schools
  • Social workers
  • Team managers
  • Service managers
  • Principle social workers
  • Directors of children's services
  • Adult and mental health practitioners
  • Health visitors
  • School nurses
  • Clinical commissioning groups


  • Education
  • Sufficiency
  • Pupil place planning
  • National Curriculum
  • Key stage 1
  • Key stage 2
  • Performance tables
  • Advocacy (Looked after children)
  • Care leavers and former looked-after children
  • Financial support (Looked after children)
  • Friends and family care
  • Health and wellbeing (Looked after children)
  • Programmes and initiatives (Looked after children)
  • Support in education
  • Academies
  • Admissions
  • Establishing maintained schools
  • Governance
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Intervention
  • Planning
  • Pupil data
  • Statutory policies and guidance
  • Travel to school and colleges
  • Keeping children safe in education and other settings
  • Preventing neglect, abuse and exploitation
  • Safeguarding disabled children
  • Social workers' standards
  • Alternative provision
  • Attendance and absence
  • Behaviour and discipline
  • Teachers' standards
  • Training and development
  • Procurement for schools
  • School and academy funding
  • School funding reform
  • Disabled children
  • SEND code of practice
  • Teaching and learning (SEND)
  • Careers guidance
  • Participation of young people in education, employment and training
  • Raising the participation age
  • Equality
  • Accountability