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Exclusions and Alternative Provision

The Alternative Provision Strategic Lead and Exclusions Officer make educational provision for those children who are not able to attend school.

Education is provided in a number of ways:

  • at a Learning Centre (also known as a Pupil Referral Unit or Short Stay School)
  • at other venues, or with other providers, but arranged and managed by the learning centres
  • in the Children's Education Unit at West Dorset General Hospital

Learning centres

Currently there are 5 learning centres:

These are all registered as schools by the Department for Education (DfE). The purpose of a learning centre is to provide alternative education for those pupils who, for a number of reasons, are unable to access mainstream school.

Pupils may: 

  • have been permanently excluded from school
  • be at risk of exclusion and dual registered with their mainstream school
  • be unable to attend school for medical reasons
  • be experiencing other difficulties

Read more information about admission to Learning Centres. (pdf, 255kb) (opens in a new window).

Hospital tuition

Dorset County Council's Children's Services in collaboration with the West Dorset General Hospital NHS Trust, provide a tuition unit at West Dorset General Hospital. They employ 2 members of staff to respond to educational needs across all age groups. At any given time the unit may need to respond to up to 20 pupils who are also patients.

Please contact Harriet Finbow for more information.

Advice about exclusion

The Exclusions Officer also offers training, advice and support to head teachers, governors, pupils and parents on all aspects of exclusion, both fixed -term and permanent.

Contact Victoria Day, Schools Exclusion Guidance and Training Officer for more information.

We've written Exclusions from School - a guide for parents 2014 (pdf, 274kb) (opens in a new window) to help you understand what happens if your child is excluded from school. This is general guidance only; you can find more detailed information from either the school or your Local Authority (LA) Exclusions Officer.

Access to education for children and young people with medical needs

Learning and Inclusion, in consultation with Health Services, are committed to enabling children and young people who cannot attend school because of a medical condition to have access to as much education as their condition allows.

Contact Contact Kelly Lambert, senior adviser in the Physical and Medical Needs Service (PMNS)  for more information

Support for parents

It can be an very stressful and worrying time if your child is permanently excluded. Please remember you don't have to deal with the situation on your own. The Exclusions Officer will discuss the options that are available for your child. They will visit visit you at home and will make arrangements on behalf of both you and your child. If other professionals have worked with your child, for example, Behaviour Support Teachers or an Educational Psychologist, the Exclusions Officer will also ask for their views about appropriate educational provision. 

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