Headlines: September 17th, 2010

The cost of teaching children who are unable to attend mainstream schools because of educational, behavioural or medical needs, can be slashed by introducing live online learning.

A report by Accipio Learning reveals that local authorities could halve the costs of alternative provision and still significantly boost the achievement of children who cannot learn in mainstream schools. The report outlines how a typical local authority could slash the average cost. Expenditure on traditional methods of teaching children out of school, like home tuition, can cost up to £40 per hour and with transport costs included, the amount authorities spend on alternative provision each year can run into several millions of pounds.

The report reveals that when students who cannot learn in a traditional classroom setting have access to live online teaching, the results can be impressive. West Sussex County Council introduced this method of teaching in 2006 and has seen 98% of students gain GCSE passes. The average pass rate achieved by a hospital or Short Stay School is just 57%.

Eileen Field, head teacher at Accipio Learning, says: “It is crucial to ensure excluded students are engaged in learning and are given the opportunity to reach their full potential. This is key to helping them secure the qualifications and skills they need to find work and will increase their chances of future success. With many authorities facing deep spending cuts, our research shows that the provision of live online learning offers a cost effective way to achieve this.”