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28. This part of the guidance is made under the Secretary of State’s powers to make guidance to which local authorities and/or schools must have regard31.
29. Even where a party is not bound to have regard to statutory guidance – for example academies arranging off-site provision to improve behaviour – this guidance can provide an indication of good practice.
30. Good alternative provision is that which appropriately meets the needs of pupils which required its use and enables them to achieve good educational attainment on par with their mainstream peers. All pupils must receive a good education, regardless of their circumstances or the settings in which they find themselves. Provision will differ from pupil to pupil, but there are some common elements that alternative provision should aim to achieve, including:
31.All pupils should be helped and encouraged to achieve or exceed the standards of a good education. Commissioners should recognise any issues or barriers, and hence a potential requirement for alternative provision, as early as possible, and carry out a thorough assessment of the pupil’s needs. Schools should look to have an increased focus on the early assessment and identification of a pupil’s needs before his or her behaviour has deteriorated to the extent that exclusion is the only option31.
32. All pupils must receive full-time provision in total, whether in one setting or more, unless a pupil’s medical condition makes full-time provision inappropriate – see the guidance document ‘Ensuring a good education for children who cannot attend school because of health needs’ for further information. ’A personalised plan for intervention should be prepared by the commissioner setting clear objectives for improvement and attainment, timeframes, arrangements for assessment and monitoring progress, and a baseline of the current position against which to measure progress. Plans should also be linked to other relevant information or activities such as ‘Education, Health and Care Plans’ for children with SEN.
33.Commissioners should maintain a full record of all placements they make, including a pupil’s progress, achievements and destination following the placement. This should also include the pupil’s own assessment of their placement.
31 Section 19(4A) of the Education Act 1996 relates to local authorities’ conduct in discharging duties under section 19. Section 100(4) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 relates to how schools arrange education for pupils on fixed period exclusions. Section 29A relates to maintained schools’ use of off-site direction powers.
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Statutory guidance for local authorities.