Frequently asked questions


Is Academy21 accredited?

Yes. Academy21 is accredited by the Department for Education under the Online Education Accreditation Scheme (OEAS). The OEAS inspection is a robust process examining all aspects of effective provision through interviews, lesson observation, record-keeping reviews, focus groups, scrutiny exercises and evidence reviews. There are 92 standards assessed across 8 categories. These cover everything from student safeguarding to the quality of teaching and curriculum, as well as school leadership. You can learn more and read our inspection report here.

Do you have a DfE Number?

Yes, our DfE Number is 000/1004.

What is the governance structure for Academy21?

The governance structure for Academy21 includes a Governance Group composed of the Regional CEO, the Regional Education Director, and at least one other delegated appointee, such as the Global Safeguarding Lead, along with a formal user group of schools and local authorities that evaluates the provision. This structure supports and challenges the leadership team and ensures checks and balances in leadership, while also incorporating external insights and judgement into our provision.

Who can make a referral?

A student can be referred to Academy21 via schools, academies, local authorities, or other educational establishments, including groups for Alternative Provision and Pupil Referral Units.

As a parent can I subscribe directly to Academy21?

Unfortunately, no, we can only be commissioned by the student’s current school or LA service. Should you wish to pursue this option for your child please speak to your child’s school or local authority so they can do this on your behalf.

Where can I receive more information regarding the provision that is offered?

Please fill in your details on the ‘get in touch’ form and your designated Regional Partnership Manager will make contact to discuss your needs shortly. You can also download our prospectus HERE.

What contract options are available?

We care deeply about supporting students’ and schools’ specific needs. Therefore, we have many different contracts available to suit your need for provision. Our Regional Partnership Managers will be happy to discuss these options with you, please get in touch HERE.

What is the minimum number of subjects that can be subscribed to?

We are fully inclusive and flexible so we have no minimum number of subjects that students can study with us. We offer a range of subjects to meet students’ needs and ability through a high-quality, engaging curriculum.

How long is the enrolment process?

The enrolment process can be as short as two working days. Once the contractual need has been established and a student enrolment has been submitted, your student can be accessing the provision within 2 working days.

Do you accept students that are out of year?

We are flexible about following a ‘stage not age’ approach in line with our safeguarding requirements. Students up to the age of 19 may be accepted in Y11. Students joining out of their chronological year have their admission to Academy21 assessed by our panel. See the admissions protocol for more details.

How are students safeguarded during online lessons?

We have a strict policy around not sharing any personal information in lessons and never leaving students unsupervised. Please refer to our safeguarding policy for details.

Are webcams used in live lessons?

No, we do enable students to communicate on mic with the teacher in break out spaces.

How can I obtain attendance records?

Via the mentor portal, where you can also monitor students’ progress and access termly academic reports with teachers’ comments. Please refer to your RCA for further guidance.

Do students require a EHCP to access Academy21?

At enrolment, we ask physical schools to share information about a student’s specific interests, aptitudes, and needs. This includes any details of any special circumstances relating to the student’s health, allergies, disabilities, or special educational needs which may be relevant to their participation in the education provided by Academy21. For more information read our admissions policy.

How is progression monitored and reported?

Progress is monitored and reported through daily reports on effort, understanding and interaction, as well as half-termly and termly reports with comments, predictions, and grades. Our partner schools can share these reports with parents at regular intervals.


Do students get homework?

Yes, there is an independent learning activity following each lesson to support students. This is a short, focused activity to build confidence and receive teacher feedback.

Are 1-2-1 lessons available?

All students can have 1-2-1 tutorials with their subject teacher periodically. Day-to-day lessons are taught in small groups.

How do you cover science practical lessons?

These are covered using simulations and video to ensure students understand the processes taught.

What texts do you cover in English Literature?

Please refer to the English Literature course overview on the mentor portal for up-to-date information on this year’s texts.

How do you assess the English spoken language component?

Mentors can let the head of subject for English know if they wish their students to be examined at Academy21. This is booked in on our system by mentors and assessed by qualified English teachers.


Who is responsible for exam entry?

Whilst we support students to be ready for exams, the commissioning school or local authority make the exam entry, so it works for the young person and institution in their context.

What exam boards syllabus do you follow?

A range of exam boards- please see the exam information document on the mentor portal for up-to-date information. If your students are not enrolled at Academy21 yet, you can find out exam board details HERE.

Does Academy21 support A-level students?

Academy21 can commission a A-Levels through our sister school King’s InterHigh. With a broad range of A-Levels to choose from, King’s InterHigh can support and empower students to follow their passions and gain a solid foundation for higher education, training, and their future careers.

What qualifications do students work towards at Academy21?

Academy21 provides GCSEs and essential skills qualifications. We offer regular reports on the academic performance of our students to both students and schools, which include their effort, understanding, interaction, and academic performance against subject standards.

We do not enter children into exams. Instead, the school in which the student is registered enters them for any necessary exams, receives their examination results, and has full responsibility for their academic outcomes.

As a result, schools are encouraged to provide feedback to Academy21 on attendance, engagement, and academic performance to support further evaluation. Public exam results for students who have spent time enrolled at Academy21 are available from the schools in which they are registered while accessing alternative provision at Academy21.

IT Support

What equipment is needed?

We recommend systems that meet or exceed the following specifications:

  • Processor (CPU): Intel Core i5, AMD Ryzen 5 or more powerful processor
  • Operating system: Windows 10 or Windows 11
  • Memory: 8GB RAM or more
  • Monitor/Display: 17″ laptop display or 21″ external monitor
  • Hardware: Wired USB headset and webcam
  • Network Connection: Wired internet connection with a minimum of 20 megabits per second download and 10 megabits per second upload

Minimum configurations

Note: The following lists minimum requirements that allow for network connectivity and other basic functions. If you are planning on purchasing a new computer, please use the recommended configurations above.

  • Processor (CPU): Intel Core i5, AMD Ryzen 5 or equivalent processor
  • Operating system: Up-to-date version of Windows, MacOS, or Chrome OS
  • Memory: 4GB RAM
  • Monitor/Display: 15″ laptop display or 19″ external monitor
  • Hardware: Microphone and webcam – either integrated into the device or as external peripherals
  • Network Connection: Wired or wireless internet connection with minimum of 10 megabits per second upload and download speed. The Reachability on this test should be Good or better.

We recommend you use a Windows PC or laptop; however, Apple Mac computers can be used. We are obliged to make our users aware that we are unable to support Apple Mac computers as fully as Windows computers. Macs also work with different file types to Windows, therefore, if an Apple Mac is used, users are required to use the Office apps or convert files to Windows formats before

All setups will require speakers and a microphone. We recommend the use of a USB headset which combines both headphones and microphone.

An office package – Students will have access to the online versions of Microsoft Office apps whilst they are attending the school. These apps can perform the majority of tasks needed for schoolwork but do have limitations compared to the installed versions. If students wish to use the installed apps, it is advised that a Microsoft 365 Subscription is acquired.

Adobe Reader is recommended, but an internet browser will be able to open these files if necessary.

Google Chrome (v110.0 and above) is recommended.

Adobe Connect is used for online classrooms. These work most efficiently when opened with the Adobe Connect application. The latest version can be downloaded from the Adobe Connect Downloads and Updates page.

For additional information visit our Computer Requirements page.

Can Academy21 be accessed on mobile or tablets?

We are currently not supporting mobile devices or tablet computers. Development is ongoing and we look forward to offering this in the future.

What technical support is available?

We operate a Live Technical Support system which will allow you to contact the IT Service team with any technical queries. This system enables you to chat with us over text, share your screen, or grant us remote control to help resolve any issues you may encounter.

How do I access technical support?

Students and mentors may reach Live Technical Support from the Support buttons on their Portals. Live Technical Support is also available from the Technical Support button at the bottom of each page on the Academy21 website.

What accessibility features are incorporated?

Adobe Connect features automatic real-time closed-captioning and freely resizable on-screen elements such as text and images.