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Orchard Therapeutic Farm - Alternative Provision

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Quality Assurance

At Orchard Therapeutic Farm we take our responsibilities of Quality Assurance (QA) very seriously. It is our responsibility to ensure that when pupils are attending our provision they  are kept safe, motivated, able to learn learning and achieve.

The Department for Education’s (DfE) statutory guidance on ‘Alternative Provision’ details that, ‘Responsibility for the alternative provision used rests with the commissioner. The nature of the intervention, its objectives and the timeline to achieve these objectives should be agreed and clearly defined' (DfE 2013).

OTF also fully understand the role of commissioners and their responsibilities and we regard their responsibilities with utmost seriousness. Schools and other commissioners should ensure appropriate quality assurance is undertaken of all Off Site and/or Alternative Provision accessed by pupils.

As such, upon request, and as part of the quality assurance measures established by schools and other commissioners, stakeholders are granted transparent access to Orchard Therapeutic Farm's quality assurance processes, practices, and policies. This transparency empowers schools and commissioners to evaluate evidence directly from us, ‘the provider’, enabling informed judgments regarding the effectiveness of our provisions in meeting pupils' needs.

Our Governance team are crucial to the quality assurance components. They  include local community partnership groups, internal quality assurance experts who provide support and constructive challenges, as well as external educational improvement partners and independent professionals with a deep understanding of  educational platforms.

Due to the comprehensive integration of quality assurance measures, there exists a heightened and more concentrated emphasis on delivering superior quality compared to conventional alternatives. Schools and local authorities referring learners can rest assured that the levels of scrutiny and standards maintained are exemplary.


Quality Assurance – Our responsibility:


  • Ensuring they are compliant with the most recent DfE guidance around legislation and the definition of an alternative provisions
  • Maintaining contact with the commissioning school and the pupil’s parent/guardians, with regular updates on the pupil’s progress
  • Carrying out an initial assessment of educational needs for the pupil within one week of referral to confirm what level of course and support is appropriate
  • Notifying the school of attendance and absence; good practice would determine this is twice daily
  • Providing relevant policies and procedures that relate to the child’s welfare, education and safety for example; Safeguarding policy including the use of social media and E-safety, Health and Safety Policy and Behaviour Policy
  • Attending relevant multi-agency meetings around the pupil when required, for example: Personal Education Plan (PEP) for children looked after, EHCP meetings, SEND review meetings and Social Care meetings
  • Having clear monitoring criteria to judge the quality of the teaching and learning, and report this to the commissioning school at agreed intervals
  • Providing a named contact for all matters pertaining to the pupils
  • Being aware of and comply with Oxfordshire’s Council’s policies, standards and procedures, such as Oxfords Safeguarding Childrens Board, and Children Missing Education (Information on Oxford’s County Council website
  • Maintaining Individual Learning Plans, these set out the targets that the pupil will achieve on programme (e.g., L1 Functional Skills English, Pass grade) as well as the wider targets (e.g., 95% attendance, behaviour). All targets must be agreed by the pupil, ’us’  the Provider and the School.
  • Ensure that regular audits are completed in line with quality assurance regulatory needs such as Safeguarding, health and safety and teaching and Learning.


Quality Assurance and Evaluating the Impact of our Provision


The responsibility for quality assurance and evaluation sits with the Director of Education and the Board of Advisors.

(As a guide the following key areas for consideration when undertaking quality assurance and


  • Quality of teaching and learning at the alternative provision
  • Academic progress, ensuring targets are suitably challenging
  • Accreditation including English and maths
  • Safeguarding and health and safety (including quality of accommodation)
  • Personal development and well-being
  • Pupils’ views
  • Employability and skills for life – progression to post-16 destinations
  • The role of the Advisors - understanding the progress made by pupils who attend the AP
  • provision so that commissioners  can ensure decisions about value for money are well informed