Alternative provision

A programme of alternative provision may be offered to a pupil if they are experiencing problems with their school's mainstream curriculum offer.

This may include issues relating to behaviour and attendance, or where a pupil is seen to not be achieving good academic outcomes.

In general, most pupils will access a programme of alternative provision on a part-time basis (e.g. half a day, one day a week) alongside the school's core curriculum offer. However, there are some pupils who may be timetabled with an external provider on a full-time basis. In these circumstances, providers of alternative provision must ensure pupils have access to core curriculum subjects (i.e. English, mathematics, science, IT) and be given the opportunity to take appropriate and accredited qualifications that help them to progress into further education or training.

Young people that have been permanently excluded from school may also access alternative provision. This will usually be arranged by the local authority and may include a permanent placement in a pupil referral unit.

Support for schools 

The local authority provides a dedicated support service to schools to help them arrange suitable alternative provision for their pupils in key stage 3 and 4.

More information

Please download the Alternative Provision Service Service Level Agreement document below. You can also email

Alternative provision dynamic purchasing system

The local authority has recently established a new dynamic purchasing system (DPS) for alternative and complementary provision. This has replaced the approved provider register and is being used by internal commissioners to procure and commission alternative provision for young people in secondary education in Salford. The DPS is split into four specific lots:

  • Lot 1: Full-time alternative provision
  • Lot 2: Part-time alternative provision (accredited / approved qualifications)
  • Lot 3: One-to-one tuition services
  • Lot 4: Complementary provision (non-accredited qualifications and support)

Providers can apply for one or more lots depending on the scale and flexibility of their offer. The DPS is an open procurement process, enabling new providers to apply at any point. If appointed to the DPS, providers will be given the opportunity to apply for work and contracts issued by the local authority (including programmes commissioned by the authority on behalf of schools that have purchased the alternative provision support service).

If you are a provider of alternative and/or complementary provision and are interested in offering your services to young people in Salford, please email for further information.

The privacy notice for Education Inclusion can be found on our GDPR page.

Downloadable documents

If you are unable to view documents of these types, our downloads page provides links to viewing software.

This page was last updated on 22 September 2021

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