Stepping Stones is a Local Authority Pupil Referral Unit (Alternative Provision). The school has 32 school placements. There are four class bases and each has around 8 – 10 children at one time in each class.  The school is continually supporting children to return to mainstream education and therefore can have approximately 50 children attend the school, over the academic year.  The school educates children who have been permanently excluded from mainstream school or who have been at high risk of exclusion. The vast majority of children who attend the school have complex social, emotional, mental health and or academic learning needs.

If a child is permanently excluded from a school then the exclusion paperwork is sent to Stepping Stones and a placement will be offered within 6 days of the exclusion. The aim is for the child to be in school on day 6 of the exclusion where possible.

If a school has made a request for a placement then a small panel of local head teachers and other professionals meet on a half termly basis. They discuss each request and make decisions on whether a short term referral placement should be offered, to provide the child with the additional support and prevent further exclusions.

Occasionally, the Local Authority will also approach the school to support new to area children or those who may have an Educational Health Care Plan and need additional support within a more specialist environment. Each case is assessed on a case by case basis.

Key Documents for Parents and Schools


Stepping Stones School – pre placement document

APPENDIX Ai parental agreement 2023-2024

Appendix B – The Pupil Contract 2023

Appendix C – School Expectations

Appendix J -Time In parental agreement 2023