Reading time: 3 minutes

Students with special educational needs deserve an equal chance at education, but it can prove difficult in some circumstances. Alternative provision can be a viable option for SEND learners and help them achieve their educational goals.

SEND learners can vary in terms of their academic ability and there has been an increase in the number of learners who require support. According to recent government statistics:

“The number of pupils with SEN support has increased by less than 0.5% to 1,083,100.”

Despite only a slight increase in the number of SEND learners it still highlights the need for extra support. Alternative provision could help alleviate the stress and workload on schools and their staff allowing the focus to be concentrated on other areas within their establishment.

In addition to this, alternative provision can:

“provide the necessary infrastructure, resources and experiences enabling innovative, tailored and personalised packages of support to be built for individual young people with SEN.”

In a reiteration of everyone deserves the chance to be educated, alternative provision can allow SEND students to learn at their own pace with one-to-one support in some cases.

If schools researched and implemented an effective alternative provision, they could realise the true potential some platforms hold which can allow for their whole school to prosper.

Unfortunately, some students become isolated from education and become even further behind than their peers, affecting their catch-up recovery from Covid.

“In the worst case, children are not receiving any provision at all – 1,260 pupils are of compulsory school age and not in education.”

This exemplifies why it is important to provide support to SEND students otherwise it could lead to complications.

SEND Learners Need Support

According to research, SEND learners account for numerous exclusions and this can have a detrimental impact on their lives and also the school’s reputation and financial situation.

Exclusions are harmful as learners lose out on their education which could ultimately affect their mental health, wellbeing and future prospects. According to statistics:

“SEN accounts for almost 50% of all permanent and fixed-term exclusions and pupils with SEN support are 7x more likely to receive a permanent exclusion.”

Exclusions should be used as a last resort and alternatives should be explored before a decision is made. Not only can alternative provision keep students in education, but it can raise their attendance and attainment levels and refine their focus to aid their reintegration process.

Students with special educational needs can learn at their own pace and be in a controlled and non-invasive learning environment. Alternative provision allows SEND learners to be comfortable allowing their learning to develop at a better rate than what it could be in mainstream school.

The Economic Impacts

Supporting SEND learners can prove to be costly for schools further indicating why some alternative provision platform could be used as a cheaper alternative to educating or excluding such learners.

“An example of a school supporting a SEND learner could be upwards of £47,780.”

If a cheaper alternative provision option was researched and introduced it could allow time, money and resources to be used in other areas within a school.

Moreover, when students are excluded it can affect a school’s budget and cost the government. According to research:

“The extrapolated costs for excluded children are worth more than £2.4 billion in education, health benefits and criminal justice system alone.”

Excluding pupils can result in limited education and also lead to social exclusion which can subsequently lead to criminal activity. If alternative provision was in place in some situations, then thousands of students could benefit and stay in education.

EDClass Can Be Your Alternative Provision Choice

EDClass can be your alternative provision choice with it being established and highly-recommended.

The platform has multiple SEND learners who have benefitted greatly from using the platform and either reintegrated into school or gained qualifications as a result.

EDClass offers audio support, customisable layouts, over 17,000 lessons and one-to-one support from qualified teachers and support staff.

If you would like some more information on how EDClass can assist your school or your SEND students then call 01909 568 338, send an email to or book a demo here.