Parent FAQs

Frequently asked questions for parents

What is alternative provision?

Academy21 provides alternative provision online.
Alternative provision is a form of education designed to support children who are unable to attend mainstream school, whether currently or long-term. This may include students who have medical requirements or health needs, behavioural difficulties in the classroom, or anxiety. Catering to the needs of these pupils, alternative provision ensures every young person can access their education and receive the support they need to achieve.

How do I access Academy21 for my child?

Academy21 works directly with schools and local authorities. If you think Academy21 could help your child progress in their learning and get back on track with school, it’s best to reach out to your child’s school or the local authority in your area.
To start, we advise booking a meeting with your child’s Head of Year, the school’s SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator), or the Behavioural Lead. They should be able to discuss your child’s needs and talk to you about available options. If your child is not currently enrolled in school, contact your Local Education Authority to enquire about referring your child to Academy21.
If they would like more information about Academy21, please share our prospectus with them.

Is Academy21 accredited?

Yes; Academy21 is proud to be the first online alternative provision accredited by the Department for Education under the Online Education Accreditation Scheme (OEAS). The OEAS inspection is a rigorous process that assesses 92 standards across 8 categories, from teaching quality to safeguarding.
This accreditation demonstrates Academy21’s commitment to providing the highest quality of education and support, giving schools, students, and families reassurance that our online alternative provision is the right choice.

How much does Academy21 cost?

All Academy21 costs are covered by the commissioning school or local authority. There are no direct costs for parents, and parents cannot subscribe directly to Academy21’s services. To access Academy21 for your child, reach out to their school or your local authority.

Can my child go back to mainstream school after online provision?

Absolutely; where possible, our goal is to successfully reintegrate students back into their mainstream school setting. Each year, hundreds of Academy21 students return to their in-person classrooms upon leaving us.
If returning to mainstream school is not possible or not the best option for your child, rest assured that we can offer long-term provision to support your child’s progress, as well as support to transition to different educational settings.

Can my child join at any time?

Yes; as the need for alternative provision can arise at any time, we accept students at Academy21 at any point during the academic year.

Where will my child be when studying?

Students enrolled with Academy21 can learn from anywhere as long as they have access to a computer with a reliable internet connection. For your child, this may be:

  • In the comfort of your home
  • In a special, supervised area at school
  • In a pupil referral unit (PRU)
  • In another alternative provision setting or designated learning centre

Are Academy21 teachers qualified?

Yes; all our educators at Academy21 are fully qualified UK teachers (FQTs). They bring a wealth of expertise and experience to our virtual classrooms, ensuring your child gets the highest quality education and guidance throughout their journey with us.

Are all Academy21 lessons online?

Yes; all Academy21 lessons are taught online according to your child’s tailored timetable. Classes are held live with interactive and collaborative elements throughout, and recordings are available after each lesson if students need to miss a class.

Will my child have to appear on camera?

No; your child is not obligated to appear on camera during Academy21 lessons. We understand that some students may feel anxious about being on video, so our online platform is designed to facilitate learning and full participation with a range of alternative communication features. This includes a text-based chat box where students can type to their teachers one-to-one, without classmates seeing their responses.

How many students are in each class?

Each class at Academy21 has a maximum of 15 students. This ensures students get all the attention and assistance they need from teachers, but still receive the benefits of learning together as a class.

What ages and qualifications does Academy21 teach?

Academy21 offers provision for students in:

  • Key Stage 3 (Years 7 to 9, ages 11 to 14)
  • Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11, ages 14 to 16)

Older students may also join a lower Key Stage if they have missed out on learning before joining us or would like to resit their qualifications. In these cases, we provide an age-appropriate environment where they can excel.

In collaboration with our sister school, King’s InterHigh, we also offer learning for:

  • Key Stage 2 (Years 5 and 6, ages 9 to 11)
  • Key Stage 5 (Years 12 and 13, ages 16+)

Our curriculum includes a wide range of GCSEs, A Levels, and essential skills courses.

Will my child get to interact with teachers and students?

Yes; our online classroom is designed to be a place where teachers are students can interact and engage in discussion. Through their microphone or our text-based chat feature, your child can communicate directly with their teachers to ask questions and get individual support. With breakout rooms, students can also work on tasks and projects together in small groups.