Lilac Sky Schools

19th August 2011 at 01:00

Articles on alternative education so often focus on the problems, and the issues for mainstream heads. This fills me with frustration and despair because alternative education can be a success. Well done to Cambridgeshire and Staffordshire for introducing effective changes, but many small providers have been doing good work for years against a background of negative press. For some young people, good alternative provision can save them from the academic scrapheap and keep them in education until they move on to the next stage.

There are undoubtedly young people receiving little or no education from poor providers, often part-time and unchecked, but full-time provision in an independent, Ofsted-inspected school such as ours can ensure a good outcome.

However, it is not just the permanently excluded we should focus on. It is also those caught in the twilight zone of repeat fixed-term exclusions and "managed moves" that are delayed for months. Mainstream education is not right for all children. The impact a disaffected and disruptive student can have on their school, family and community can be immense, so we have to get this right and deliver a creditable alternative. I hope these proposals achieve that.

Sandy Davies, Principal, Education Links, Stratford, London.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today