Three Key Benefits of Online Alternative Provision

We offer high quality, cost-effective, tailored alternative online provision for schools and local authorities. Many young people who are unable to cope with mainstream school, for various reasons, thrive with Academy21. Below are three key reasons why our online alternative provision is beneficial for schools, local authorities and pupils.

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Flexible Tailored Support

Academy21 offers a range of services that can be commissioned quickly with no requirement to make long-term financial commitments. We currently provide more than 250 schools with services directly designed to support their needs and those of the young people referred to us. Our services include immediate solutions to support intervention programmes, fixed term exclusion, alternatives to permanent exclusion, Year 11 Rescue GCSE through to grade 4 to 5 booster programmes.

Cost-Effective Solutions

We provide a range of different commissioning options from short trial through to annual pricing, to support you to budget more effectively and reduce costs. We consult with schools and local authorities to find the right commissioning option for them. There is no minimum purchase, no block booking and we do not require you to purchase credits in advance. Our costs start from as little as £8.60 per hour.

Quality of Provision

Academy21 provides live, interactive and online teaching and learning in the UK. We have been awarded onto many local authority framework agreements for alternative provision. Each framework is reviewed annually and quality assured every year by each individual authority. Lessons are delivered by fully qualified, experienced subject specialist teachers and in 2018, of the exam results notified to us, our learners achieved a 98% pass rate at GCSE with 37% achieving levels 9-4.

Pupils We Support

Academy21 works with over 1,000 pupils each year, supporting a diverse range of need. Below are just some of the reasons why schools, local education authorities and parents and carers of young people with an EHCP, refer pupils to Academy21.

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Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders can interrupt mainstream schooling or in many cases lead to long term school refusal for some pupils. At Academy21 our online provision supports hundreds of young people each year who may be suffering from general or specific anxiety disorders.

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Challenging Behaviour

We work with schools across the country providing an alternative to exclusion and to deliver solutions from day 6 of any fixed term exclusion. We provide PRU’s, independent alternative providers and local authorities with our services following a permanent exclusion.

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Medical Needs

Academy21 provides short, medium and long-term provision to young people with a range of medical health issues. This ensures that pupils can continue their study, irrespective of where they may be learning from.

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Teenage Mothers

We support teenage mothers at every stage of their pregnancy and beyond as they begin parenthood. Our service ensures continuity of education, through what is a challenging period for new teenage mums.

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Young People in Care

Academy21 works directly with virtual school’s delivering provision for young people both in and out of borough. Our service supports them wherever they are placed providing a degree of continuity during extreme periods of change.

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School Refusers

Young people may refuse to attend school for a broad range of reasons. Academy21 supports learners every day who may have SEN, be the victims of bullying and suffer from complex medical and mental health conditions.

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Best Value Flexible Commissioning Options

Our commissioning options offer best value whether the provision you require is long or short term. We are aware of the budget constraints facing schools and local authorities and fully understand the importance of demonstrating accountability for all public sector spending. We do not require the inefficient allocation of budget through block booking, annual booking or credit purchases.


Schools and local authorities can pilot our provision to assess its suitability for the learners in their care. A pilot lasts for four weeks and they can enrol as many or as few pupils as required. This option therefore allows them to test out the provision with minimal financial exposure and no long-term commitment.


If the pilot is successful, schools and local authorities may then choose to commission on a termly basis. They can also choose our termly option at any point in the school year, with costs calculated on a pro-rata basis to the end of the academic term ahead. If a learner leaves the provision early, the service can be transferred to another pupil and tailored to meet their individual need including changing subjects, timetable and Key Stage.


Our most cost-effective option is to commission annually in advance. This is usually selected where there is a degree of certainty about the longer-term needs of the learners that schools and local authorities may wish to enrol. Our annual commissioning option can be calculated on a pro-rata basis to the end of the academic year. The service can also be transferred throughout the year to other pupils, changing the subjects, Key Stage and timetable.

Pay As You Go

This commissioning option provides complete flexibility to place and remove pupils with us as often as is required. It is available for both short and long-term provision but is only applicable when commissioning for larger cohorts of pupils. To deliver best value, we invoice retrospectively every 6 weeks for actual periods of enrolment with the only restriction being that we require 5 working days notice of any cancellation.

How to Refer a Pupil

Since 2011, we have worked with thousands of different educational settings, providing our services in a timely and efficient manner. We have always supported our customers, enabling the same immediacy of provision and attention to detail, whether managing referrals for individual learners or larger cohorts of over 30 pupils.

Our underlying systems, processes and experienced staff ensure that whether we are supporting short term provision, implementing bespoke courses or meeting longer term needs, referrals are implemented within a maximum of two working days from first receiving them.

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Enquire and Consult

Our office and field teams will work with you remotely or can meet you face to face, to identify the needs your setting has and explore whether our services are able to address them.



Our staff will consult with you to identify the most cost-effective route for you to commission our services. We will work with you to minimise impact on your budget and ensure you can assess the suitability of our provision with no long-term financial commitments.



Enrolment is managed electronically. Our staff will speak directly with you if needed, to ensure the process is completed in a timely fashion and fits the immediate timetabling and subject needs you have identified. Enrolments will be completed in a maximum of two working days, but typically they are completed within an hour or two of us agreeing your requirements.


Getting Started

Once you have agreed course and timetable requirements, we will issue login information to you. This includes access to our systems for designated staff to allow you to monitor all aspects of our delivery and login details for each pupil. Should any issues arise, we provide remote technical and customer support to resolve them or to answer any questions you might have as you get started.

Learn More About Online Learning with Academy21

Academy21 works directly with designated school and local authority staff to ensure learners receive the best support possible. Our online alternative provision is led by qualified, experienced teachers. Click on the link below to explore how we can help you and the learners in your care, achieve a range of recognised outcomes.

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