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We welcome the government response to this very important and timely review of Alternative Provision by the Education Select Committee.

As part of our response to this inquiry, we highlighted the experiences of the young people that come to our education and skills centres having had poor experiences in mainstream school, who are often the furthest away from employment or academic careers. Too often young people are placed in Alternative Provision that is of poor quality and can lead to a lack of progression for the young people attending them.

It is pleasing to see that a bespoke performance framework for the Alternative Provision sector is going to be developed – we strongly believe that this should reflect the outcomes they achieve. At Nacro, we know that softer outcomes, as well as academic ones, are crucial for the young people we work with. There are individual reasons as to why that young person is in Alternative Provision that need to be addressed, and these need to be captured in any outcomes framework. We look forward to working with the government on developing this.

However, we have repeatedly stated that instead of funding reducing post 16, this should be increased up to 18 to ensure that those young people have caught up with their peers. We are disappointed not to see this addressed and will continue to highlight this as a key issue.