Alternative Education Choices

Where full-time education would not be in the best interests of a particular child because of reasons relating to their physical or mental health, Local Authorities should provide part-time or alternative education on a basis they consider to be in the child’s best interests.  

“Each local authority shall make arrangements for the provision of suitable education at school or otherwise than at school for those children of compulsory school age who, by reason of illness, exclusion from school or otherwise, may not for any period receive suitable education unless such arrangements are made for them.”
Section 19(1) Education Act 1996

What should I do?

Contact your Local Authority and make enquiries, (schools should refer a child after 15 days of medically related absence but often they do not do so, especially if the absence is related to mental health needs).

Explore the options in your local area for alternative schools and learning environments. You may be able to change schools if you can find one that is more suitable or willing to support your child and work with their anxiety.

SENDIASS may be able to help you identify a local setting or help you to access it through an EHCP.

Some people manage to arrange funding for EOTAS (Education Other Than At School) which includes hospital school, online schooling or home tuition.

Your Local Authority will have a policy and details of local provision, you can find out more through this link:

What is EOTAS?

EOTAS stands for Education Otherwise Than at School. It is educational provision that meets the needs of children and young people who, for whatever reason, are unable to attend a mainstream or special school.

Why might EOTAS be necessary?

For some children or young people, school or college settings may not be suitable; they may have been excluded, they may have mental health problems or medical reasons that affect their ability to attend a school or college setting or the school(s) they have attended may not have been able to meet their needs.

What might EOTAS look like?

Some examples of EOTAS provision could be:

  • Online schooling
  • Tuition at home
  • Tuition or training at a specialist centre
  • Hospital schooling
  • Therapeutic interventions
  • Life skills training

Find out more about education options

Home/School Communication

Are you finding it difficult to communicate with school about your child's needs? Find out your options here

Special Educational Needs (SEN) Support

Do you think that your child needs extra support in school? Find out what they are entitled to here


Do you feel it's time to consider applying for an EHCP? Find out everything you need to know here

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