WARRINGTON South MP Andy Carter says he is determined to improve the life chances of excluded children across the country.

The Conservative politician is the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for School Exclusions and Alternative Provision, which is currently exploring the quality of education for excluded children in England.

In every part of the country, pupils educated in alternative provision (AP) – schools for excluded children – are less likely to sustain a positive destination after their GCSEs compared to their peers in mainstream education.

Just over half, 54 per cent, of all pupils who completed key stage four in state-maintained AP over the last three years were recorded as sustaining a positive destination sixth months after their GCSEs, compared to 94 per cent of their mainstream peers.

At the end of last year, the APPG decided to focus its first inquiry on AP quality.

The first evidence session was held this month, with almost 200 stakeholders from the education sector in attendance.

Commenting on the progress of the inquiry, Mr Carter said: “The response we have had so far from this inquiry has been fantastic and shows just how important getting alternative provision right is up and down the country.

“I’ve heard from head teachers, charities, parents and of course colleagues in Parliament about the issues they have faced in improving the system for supporting those excluded from school.

“I’m determined to ensure every child being educated in alternative provision should obtain better outcomes than the same child would have achieved at their mainstream school.

“With better models of alternative provision, working effectively with the sector and with more funding, we will be a few steps closer to making this a reality.”

James Scales, head of education at the Centre for Social Justice, added: “Some of our most vulnerable pupils are sliding into our peripheral vision, where their prospects hang in the balance. The best APs are there to catch them, and we should be diffusing their expertise far and wide.

“For that to happen, we need a better way to identify what good AP looks like and the APPG’s inquiry will help provide clear answers.

“The call for evidence will feed into the APPG’s inquiry and form the basis of a short report authored by the APPG.

“The group will also be inviting organisations to present oral evidence to the committee. If you would like to provide oral evidence, please signal your interest below.”

Mark Vickers, chief executive of Olive Academies, also shared his views.

He said: “I was pleased to take part in the panel last week and to share ideas with such committed group of people. It was heartening to hear such agreement about the aspirations for the young people who are educated in alternative provision.

“I feel positive about the direction of travel, not least because Vicky Ford, minister for children and families at the DfE is working with leaders of AP and other stakeholders to ensure that AP reform is a key part of the Government’s SEND Review.

“I encourage the Government to continue to listen to ideas and experience on the ground in shaping its bold ambitions for AP reform.”

The deadline to submit written evidence is April 2.

The Centre for Social Justice is still taking evidence and can be contacted at exclusionsandap@centreforsocialjustice.org.uk.