Flexibility built in - 7 ways to implement Academy21 to support your students

At Academy21, we work in partnership with schools, local authorities and pupil referral units to provide online provision that is right for students. Flexibility is built-in to the way we work, giving partners a range of options in how they use our provision to support students.  Last year, we supported more than 4500 pupils from over 800 establishments.
These are just some of the ways they used our live, online alternative provision...


1. Meeting 6th Day Requirements for fixed-term or permanent exclusions

Our 6-week fixed timetable for Key Stage 3 and 4 students can be rapidly implemented to support interim and short stay provision from day six onwards. Students are fast-tracked into an automatic timetable, joining classes in our existing Key Stage 3, GCSE, functional skills or entry level science groups. Our rapid enrolment process can be completed in as little as 48 hours so students can start learning quickly. Key benefits for schools using Academy21 for excluded students include:

  • Our short stay school meets all the requirements of day six provision, supporting students through to their governing body hearing.
  • We do not require a long-term commitment – all Academy21 services can be scaled up or down based on your requirements.
  • If a student’s exclusion is upheld by the governing body (or they are otherwise in need of further support), we provide a seamless transition to medium or long-term timetabling.
  • Qualified teachers experienced in working with excluded students.


2. For early intervention before students become completely disengaged with learning

Online alternative provision is a particularly effective tool for early intervention. When implemented early, it can help students before they become completely disengaged from their learning. With Academy21, students get the support they need to maintain a consistent schedule, develop positive learning habits, and stay engaged — reducing the risk of exclusion and long-term avoidance.

With our intuitive student portal, pupils can access their classes from home, school, or elsewhere. Our accessibility makes it easy for schools to adopt a staged approach to intervention and reintegration. For example, you may choose to have your students attend online classes from home initially. As they progress, students can then transition to taking some Academy21 classes at school, perhaps a few half days per week, in a supervised location on-site. The time spent accessing Academy21 classes at school can gradually increase and you may discuss the possibility of joining back in to some mainstream classes while still attending other lessons online. This gradual reintegration into full-time mainstream classes helps keep pupils re-engaged in the long term.


3. Short term provision as respite for anxious pupils

We support schools in using Academy21 as a form of respite for anxious young people struggling with attendance or engagement. Since the pandemic, we have seen more pupils join us due to high levels of anxiety. Many had fallen into patterns of emotionally based school avoidance (EBSA), while others became increasingly overwhelmed by school, resulting
in disruptive behaviours. With a safe and supportive online environment, these students don’t have to miss out on large portions of their education.

Pupils can continue learning and making academic progress at Academy21, all while building confidence, routines, and health habits. Setting these foundations in place, we work with  schools to provide a pathway to mainstream school reintegration.

Our teachers are skilled at building a rapport with learners, engaging them in conversations about their interests and reinforcing their strengths. Many students tell us how much they appreciate the support they receive from their teachers.

“[My teacher] has inspired me for maths (and school in general) again and made me feel like I could do stuff. She gave a massive boost to my self-confidence and I would really like to thank her for that.” – Christopher, Year 11 student.


4. Long-term provision for strong, recognised, outcomes

From long-term medical conditions to permanent exclusions to challenges reintegrating at school, there are various reasons why your student may need a longer-term solution. No matter the cause, we offer a robust and well-rounded education for students in need of long-term provision. Academy21 has courses designed to run over one year for Key Stage 3 pupils and one
to two years for Key Stage 4 pupils. These programmes include a balanced range of subjects, preparing students for further study, GCSEs, or Functional Skills qualifications.

“Once she started, you could see she was learning and moving forward. It was uplifting to see her back in education. Academy21 enabled her to get sufficient, good GCSE grades to move onto college… it was the most positive decision we could have made.” – Linda, mum to Katy.

With a comprehensive and stable learning environment, we support students to make strong academic progress, for as long as they’re with us.


5. GCSE Rescue

We’ve run our popular GCSE Rescue courses since 2011. Classes run straight through to the maths, science and English exams in June each year, and help pupils catch up on missed learning in a short space of time. This gives disengaged learners the opportunity to leave their secondary school with recognised core GCSE outcomes.

These courses are particularly appropriate for students who may be:

  • Emotionally Based School Avoiders
  • Disengaged from mainstream classes
  • Causing disruption and/or be at risk of exclusion
  • Missing portions of their KS4 study
  • Medically vulnerable


6. To ease capacity and placement issues

Our rapid enrolment process and tailored timetables mean that our short stay school is a great solution for local authorities with school capacity gaps. Academy21 alleviates the strain with temporary provision for young people awaiting permanent or physical school placements, ensuring they receive consistent, high-quality, education while they wait.


7. GCSE Resits

Post-16 students who want to achieve or improve GCSE grades can attend Academy21 to prepare for re-sits. This is an excellent opportunity for those who have missed crucial components of their Key Stage 4 studies. We welcome students up to 19 to join our groups and make their goals happen. Benefits of joining Academy21 for GCSE resits include:

  • Flexibility to complete GCSEs around vocational studies or other commitments
  • Eliminates the stigma associated with in-person learning alongside younger peers
  • Opportunity to address knowledge gaps and develop exam skills
  • Strengthen understanding of key concepts
  • Access to the full lesson content library with additional resources
  • Exam preparation support from teachers


To learn more about how we can help you support your students, simply complete our contact form below. We will contact you to talk through your options, and can also arrange to visit you on-site.