Right to a full-time education
Children of compulsory school age have the right to a full-time education, and reduced timetables are unlawful (unless following medical opinion that this would be in the child's best interests). However, a reduced timetable can be an effective temporary measure to support some children with complex needs. There should be a plan to support an increase to full-time, regular reviews and only with parental agreement and involvement of appropriate services.
If you are feeling pressured to accept a reduced timetable talk to school about whether there are other possible options, for example...
- a referral to the in-year fair access panel (IYFAP)
- a CAF – a way of working with families and assessing needs
- referrals to specialist services, for example County Inclusion Support Service, to the Educational Psychology service or to an appropriate health service.
- where support options in school have been exhausted, a request to the local authority to carry out an EHC needs assessment
This term is used to describe the education arrangements made for excluded pupils to continue to have a suitable, full-time education whilst they are excluded from school or cannot attend school for another reason.
In some circumstances, alternative provision can be used where a child has not been excluded, including alongside mainstream or special education, where there are medical needs or for a placement to address poor behaviour. See also our information under fixed-term exclusions.
You can also contact the local authority directly with any questions or concerns relating to exclusions, the IYFAP process and alternative provision.
Take a look at this online directory of alternative provision (via the Suffolk local offer).