Internal Alternative Provision Project

Why does your school need to be involved in the IAP project?

Schools are having to deal with an increasing number of children who struggle to cope with mainstream education due to learning, wellbeing and safeguarding challenges. This can lead to children being excluded from mainstream classrooms, or excluding themselves through non-attendance.

Internal Alternative Provision (IAP) can be an essential part of the system to support these children in school. IAP can increase attendance, limit the use of internal exclusion and reduce suspensions.


This project is suitable for both primary and secondary settings.

Project Outcomes

  • To reflect on the school’s current context, systems and practice to develop a clear intent for Internal Alternative Provision.
  • To use a framework to create a plan for a trauma-informed, relational, asset-focussed Internal Alternative Provision.
  • To know what structures, systems and practices are required for effective referral, intervention and reintegration from Internal Alternative Provision.

Project Structure

The project will include four interactive and practical online sessions led by Will across the academic year. Following each session, participants will be set a short practice-based assignment (not mandatory but helpful!) relating to supporting children at risk of exclusion and/or persistent absence.

Session 1

This session will focus on the desired intent of your IAP and the context of your school. It will include;

  • Key principles for inclusive, relational IAP and introducing the framework
  • Different models of IAP, their advantages and disadvantages
  • Measuring success; data and impact measurement

Session 2

This session will focus on referral to IAP and the induction of children (and their families).

  • Being authentically collaborative with families – systemic and asset-based approaches 
  • Curiosity to understand underlying causes of challenging behaviour and/or persistent absence.
  • Developing effective student profiles and support plans.

Session 3

This session will focus on the intervention phase (what happens) of IAP.

  • Reflection on what works and what doesn’t in relation to our intent.
  • SEMH needs, trauma-informed and relational practices.
  • Curriculum design and interventions to support children’s assets and needs.

Session 4

This session will consider the reintegration from IAP to mainstream lessons as well as focus on the next steps for developing effective IAP in your school.

  • Key challenges for sustainable reintegration.
  • Components of an effective transition / reintegration plan.
  • Reflection on intent and how this can be measured.
  • Action planning next steps.

Internal Alternative Provision Project


Will Ross

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator

Will is an experienced senior leader and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator. He has spent more than 10 years working with children with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs in Alternative Provision, Pupil Referral Units, primary, secondary and special schools. Too many times he has seen children excluded from school who needn’t be. His experience as a senior leader in a range of settings as well as a specialist foster carer has helped him realise collaboration between schools, families and the wider network is the most effective way to help children thrive.

Read more