Local Authorities & Commissioners

As an Out of School Setting (OOSS), we work collaboratively with Local Authority Commissioners of children’s social care and education placements, identifying issues and agreeing actions and mutual expectations. We participate in these discussions in a meaningful way, putting the needs of our children and young people at the heart of decision making.

Our specialist commissioned services comprise alternative provision for 11 to 16-year olds, plus one-to-one tutoring for Looked After Children (LAC), for children with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) – particularly children with Specific Learning Disabilites (SPLD) – and for children and young people for whom English is an additional language (EAL).

We currently work one-to-one and in small groups with 11 to 16-year olds who are at risk of being excluded from school. We also have the capacity to work with younger children, see After-School Provision. Given the higher rates of permanent and temporary exclusions of young people from Caribbean, Irish and Roma backgrounds, we emphasise a ‘whole child’ approach that includes acknowledging and using cultural heritage as a tool for educational engagement and attainment.

Our whole child approach recognises that learning takes place in a specific context. There are numerous factors that shape learning and educational outcomes beyond the classroom and the curriculum. Our alternative provision support for the whole child includes:

A focus on attendance with outreach strategies that focus on improving attendance as a prerequisite for improved learning.

Multicultural competency training for all teachers, support staff and students to frame and strengthen our commitment to citizenship and reinforce our distinctiveness as a school.

A SEND-supportive culture across the school, through effective staff training and the involvement of relevant specialist practitioners.

Overcoming motivational deficits through a culture that celebrates learning, acknowledges achievements and involves the wider community as well as family to support a culture of pride and attainment.

Encouragement of excellence by providing stimulation, challenges and opportunities for children who are excelling
– whether they are displaying academic or intellectual gifts or demonstrating talents in other areas of activity and learning.

Understanding and supporting the family situation. Given the 2018 review of vulnerable children in social care in England, we recognise that poverty, exclusion, racism and weak familial support networks can play a very real part in framing low expectations, undermining confidence and affecting behaviour. Our network of learning mentors and our strong pastoral support programme provide the highly personalised support needed to fully understand and address a young person’s needs.

Safeguarding. In line with the 2018 DfE’s statutory guidance for Keeping Children Safe in Education, we ensure that:
– our school has more than one emergency contact number for pupils
– safeguarding and welfare concerns are taken into account when restraint is used on children with SEND
– we have our own child protection policy that reflects our local circumstances

Black female pupil sitting at desk working - illustration

Alternative provision curriculum

Our curriculum delivers all the key requirements that any parent or commissioner would expect to see.

Key Stage 3 & 4
English to GCSE
Mathematics to GCSE
Sciences – Combined and Separate – to GCSE
Citizenship to GCSE

In line with our commitment to social justice and communitarian principles, we aim to base our teaching on the African Philosophy of Education, Ubuntu.

Vocational subjects
Sports and Leisure to Level 2
Health and Social Care to Level 2
Youth and Community to Level 2
Education Studies and Teaching to Level 2
Arts/Creative subjects to Level 2

One-to-one tutoring for
Looked After Children (LAC)

We work closely with virtual schools that deliver provision for young people in boroughs across Greater Manchester and the North West. Combining academic study with personal mentoring, we support these children wherever they are placed, providing a degree of continuity during periods of extreme change.

One-to-one tutoring for children
and young people with SEND and SPLD

We work with statemented young people, particularly those with Specific Learning Disabilities (SPLD). Recognising that SPLD can interrupt mainstream schooling and, in rare cases, lead to long-term school refusal, we provide the tailored support that the young people we work with need. For an example of our work in this area, read here.

One-to-one tutoring for English
as an Additional Language (EAL)

Our Virtual School offers tuition in community languages for young people who might not yet be able to access the mainstream KS2-4 curricula in English and Maths. We use their community language as a pathway to gaining the necessary English language skills required to fully participate in mainstream education. For KS3 work, please get in touch to arrange bespoke Personal Education Plans (PEPs) to meet the needs of the children in your care.

So far, we work with Cumbria County Council, Bury Council and Manchester City Council and currently offer the following community languages:

  • Punjabi
  • Arabic (Libyan)
  • Mbo’o and Befang (Cameroon)
  • Afrikaans
  • Dutch
  • German
  • French
  • Portuguese

For an example of our work in this area, read here.

Female student with a hijab - Local Authorities & Commissioners

Congratulations to the MEaP Twilight School. They are the first school to be awarded the Manchester Higher Level Achievement Award. Their practice is exemplary in all areas and they should rightfully be proud of their achievement.

Jan Bradburn, Lead for Supplementary Schools, Manchester City Council

She certainly enjoys her learning and feels that she is getting a lot out of your programme.

Carer of an EAL student

It’s really great to see how well she is doing and the progress she continues to make. Thank you again for all your help and support.

Sarah Luffrum-Miller, Virtual School Team, Cumbria County Council

I must say that your educational provision is outstanding and I would like to thank you for all that you have put in place so far for X.

Carer of an EAL student

Term dates


Summer holiday

School closes: Wednesday 27 July 2022

School Holidays 2022/ 2023

School opens: Thursday 1 September 2022

Half term holiday

School closes: Friday 21 October 2022

School opens: Monday 31 October 2022

Christmas holiday

School closes: Friday 16 December 2022

School opens:  Tuesday 3 January 2023

Half term holiday

School closes: Friday 17 February 2023

School opens:  Monday 27 February 2023

Easter holiday

School closes: Friday 31 March 2023

School opens:  Monday 17 April 2023

Bank holiday: School closes Monday 1 May 2023

Half term holiday

School closes: Friday 26 May 2023

School opens:  Monday 5 June 2023

Summer holiday

School closes: Friday 21 July 2023

Our after-school provision will also deliver activities during the holiday periods; Easter and Summer Exam revision classes

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.