Last reviewed on 18 March 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 6367

Alternative provision (AP) settings, including pupil referral units (PRUs), aren't required to follow the National Curriculum, but they do have to provide a good alternative curriculum. Find out what this includes, and see examples of curriculum offers from PRUs and AP academies.

You don't need to teach the National Curriculum

But, you need to provide good alternative provision which:

  • Appropriately meets pupils' needs
  • Enables them to achieve good educational attainment on par with their mainstream peers

You should offer challenging teaching in:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • IT 

This is set out in paragraphs 30 and 39 of the DfE's statutory guidance on alternative provision

Provide a 'broad and balanced' curriculum

For PRUs, a DfE representative explained that this should include:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Computing
  • Careers guidance

For AP academies, the DfE's model funding agreement specifies:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science

This is set out on page 18 of the master funding agreement for multi-academy trusts and page 21 of the AP single funding agreement. Check your own in case it differs from the model.

See how AP settings approach their curriculum

Primary PRU

Buckinghamshire Primary PRU teaches English and maths lessons daily. It teaches all other subjects through termly themes or topics.