Recording Alternative Provision placement details

For the 2021/2022 academic year, schools can choose whether they would like to include details of Alternative Provision placements in their school census. Both areas are also available to include on printable student profiles.

If you wish to record these details, you'll need to record them from the start of the academic year. The first voluntary collection of this data will be in the Spring 2022 School Census, so you won't see any errors in your census about this area until then.

For more information from the DfE about what data is required and when, please see page 51 of the School census 2021 to 2022: business and technical information.


What should be recorded?

Please note that the information is not required for nursery students.

Schools who have commissioned Alternative Provision for Students

For schools that are sending students to Alternative Provision placements at other schools, you'll need to record details of the placements for each student that a placement has been arranged for.

A student can have one or many alternative provision placements, which can be full or part-time. The school census will output details of the placements the student was attending during the date range of the data collection.

Setting up your Alternative Provision providers

To be able to add a placement for a student, you must first add details of the provider to your system. Go to School > Linked Organisations > Educational Institutions and either add a new school or update the details of an existing profile.

To help you identify schools apart when they have the same name, you can add an Address, Email, Telephone number, URN and UKPRN.


Recording an Alternative Provision placement

To record an Alternative Provision placement for a student, go to the Education & Employment Status History section of the student's profile. Click +Add and select Add Alternative Provision Placement.



In the slide over, select the location of the placement.



If the placement is not at an educational institution, you can select the Setting type.



Add a placement reason.



Add the date range the student will be attending the placement for - this will automatically include any active SEN statuses. Then select whether the student will attend the placement Full-Time or Part-Time - sessions per week are only needed if the student is part-time at the placement.




Schools providing Alternative Provision placements

Although the School Commissioned Alternative Provision module is available for all UK DfE schools, it should be used only by schools that offer Alternative Provision.

Adding Alternative Placement details for a student 

When a student joins your Alternative Provision with an enrolment status of C (single registration), F (FE college) or O (Other provider), you should add the information outlined below to their student profile. 

Go to the Enrolment area and click on the enrolment into your school. Click Edit.


Add in a date of entry and the reason they joined, then click Save Changes.




What to do if you have errors in your census

As outputting details of Alternative Provision is voluntary in the 2021/2022 censuses, you have two options if you have errors in your census. As all errors must be resolved to enable you to submit your census, you will need to either:

  1. Resolve issues in the data recorded to fix the errors
  2. Delete all the information you have recorded to remove the errors
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