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Research Questions

  1. What progress did IntegratED make towards the intended Programme outcomes?
  2. What progress did IntegratED make towards its four-year systemic goals?
  3. To what extent did IntegratED take a programmatic approach?

Alternative provision settings provide education for children who cannot attend a mainstream school. Pupils who are excluded and suspended from school are more likely to have special educational needs and disabilities, more likely to be socio-economically disadvantaged and to be from certain ethnic groups. Exclusion and attending alternative provision have long-term negative effects on young people, exacerbating inequality and social exclusion.

The Porticus 'IntegratED' Programme aimed to address these issues. The Programme supported the work of around 20 organisations (IntegratED Partners), at the school, local and national level, to reduce preventable exclusion from school and improve the quality of alternative provision.

Two research organisations – RAND Europe and NFER – evaluated the IntegratED Programme by undertaking separate but closely coordinated studies. 

Key Findings

  • IntegratED Partners worked with schools, local authorities, MATs and national policymakers. Their work contributed to an improved understanding of the nature of exclusion and alternative provision, and generated ideas about improvements to support the country's most vulnerable children. Changes in practice at a whole-school level appeared limited within the timeframe of the evaluation, but key achievements of the Programme included delivering training and support to staff and professionals, the creation of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on School Exclusion and Alternative Provision and the creation of an Alternative Provision Quality Toolkit.
  • IntegratED supported a growing ecosystem of organisations, from different parts of the sector, working on issues related to exclusion and alternative provision. Some Partners felt that IntegratED's primary achievement had been bringing diverse organisations together in this way. IntegratED Partners interacted, shared information and supported each other.
  • By addressing issues of alternative provision and exclusion from many different angles, IntegratED successfully took a 'programmatic' approach. IntegratED supported activities at classroom, local and national levels. The Programme engaged a broad range of Partners with different kinds of knowledge and different capabilities. This diversity meant that Partners could work in complementary ways.


Recommendations for other funders wishing to adopt a programmatic approach include:

  • Identify who will undertake coordination activities in the Programme, when these will happen and what they will involve.
  • Take account of interest in and capacity to undertake partnership working when selecting partners.
  • Articulate how the activities of each partner will contribute to the goals.
  • Allocate time at the outset, and at key points during the Programme, for partners to interact and understand each other's activities.
  • Support partners to understand how they might benefit from programmatic working, and allocate resources to partners for collaboration.

Research conducted by

This research was supported by Porticus and conducted by RAND Europe.

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