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The future of Alternative Provision: reflections on the opportunities and challenges in a post-pandemic world

Online registration has now closed for this event, please email to register.

The landscape of Alternative Provision (AP) has increasingly diversified and evolved across the four UK nations in recent years. The covid-19 pandemic has reconfigured a new set of opportunities and challenges for young people who are at risk of exclusion and their transitions within and across the AP settings designed to support their continued engagement in formal education.

In this interactive seminar, the SIG welcomes Dr Andy Malcolm, Senior Lecturer in the Childhood and Youth Studies (University of Bedfordshire), to share the findings from his recent work on sustaining Post-16 destinations from Alternative Provision (Malcolm, 2022).This study set out to explore which practices in alternative provision (AP) settings in England made a difference to post-16 transition success into further education, training or employment. This study took an approach which combined the analysis of official statistics, freedom of information requests and targeted semi-structured interviews.

Findings suggest three practices which increase sustained transitions. The views of staff and their involvement in, or awareness of, the broader context within which they work were also found to be important.

In considering the implications of this work for the future of AP post pandemic, audience members will be invited to share their own observations and reflections on new possibilities and ways forward. This will encompass, the ways in which our SIG might promote further networking and collaboration between and across AP practitioner and research/academic spaces.


16:00 BERA Introduction
16:05 Welcome & Introduction
Fadoua Govaerts & Dr Amber Fensham-Smith
16:10 Keynote
Sustaining Post-16 destinations from Alternative Provision: a review of the data and the perspectives of heads from low, mid and high performing schools
Dr Andy Malcolm, University of Bedfordshire
16:30 Q&A- Young people’s AP transitions post-pandemic: observations and reflections
Fadoua Govaerts & Dr Andy Malcolm
16:45 Discussion- Collaboration and networking across AP practitioner and research-led spaces
16:55  Closing remarks & Event Close
Fadoua Govaerts & Dr Amber Fensham-Smith


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Chairs & Speakers

Profile picture of Amber Fensham-Smith
Amber Fensham-Smith, Dr

Lecturer in Childhood and Youth Studies at The Open University

Amber is a lecturer in childhood and youth studies at the Open University and co-convenor of the Alternative Education special interest group. A sociologist by training, her research seeks to give voice to marginalised and excluded communities in...

Profile picture of Fadoua Govaerts
Fadoua Govaerts, Ms

PhD student at University of Bath

Fadoua Govaerts is a PhD researcher at the University of Bath, in the Department of Education. Her doctoral research project explores the experience of home-educated adolescents, with a special focus on their educational outcomes and social...

Profile picture of Andy Malcolm
Andy Malcolm, Dr

Senior Lecturer at University of Bedfordshire

I joined the University of Bedfordshire as a lecturer in July 2015 having been involved in teaching research methods since 2012. I have a keen interest in enabling students to access existing data, a rich but underused source of information. I...