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Providing an effective alternative provision for an Academy to reduce exclusions, raise achievement and improve attendance.

The Rodillian Academy and EDLounge came together in September 2013 to look at how we could improve our existing online provision. This needed to meet national guidance on the use of alternative provision and, more importantly, provide high quality, appropriate work for students who were not accessing mainstream education for a fixed period of time.

We have developed a unique package to support students who are out of mainstream education, providing them with appropriate, accessible work that is accessed through a secure online platform. This is monitored by qualified teachers throughout the day who quality assure the work that students are completing and provide support through a help function when needed.

We expect students who are expelled from school to complete a set number of hours in EDLounge; staff from school and parents/carers can then monitor their activity online. The response from parents/carers has been overwhelmingly positive as they can measure the quality of the work students complete whilst they are not in school.

As part of the personalised programme for students who are expelled from school for a fixed period of time, they must complete a programme of behaviour repair work which is then discussed at the re-integration meeting. Over 95% of students who have been expelled from school have completed the required behaviour repair work and the required amount of hours to a satisfactory standard.

The implementation of EDLounge to support students who are excluded from school has had a significant impact on an identified cohort of students. It provides them with a programme of study and behaviour repair work that is monitored daily by school staff and parents, ensuring that students are engaged in meaningful work throughout their exclusion. This has meant that exclusions have become more of a deterrent and are now seen as more meaningful and robust by parents/carers.

This has meant a reduction in the number of repeat exclusions which is, in turn, seeing a marked improvement in attendance. We are currently exploring ways of introducing EDLounge to support our students who are engaged in alternative provision and as a possible tool to support homework.

We would have no reservations in recommending EDLounge as a valuable resource within any educational setting. The access to qualified teachers throughout the EDLounge experience promotes a level of engagement that we have not seen with similar products. We have used a range of online products and have always felt that there was something missing. EDLounge meets the needs of students, parents/carers and staff, ensuring that safeguarding and student engagement are paramount.

Assistant Headteacher, The Rodillian Academy