The alternative provision strategic lead and exclusions officer make educational provision for children who are not able to attend school.

We provide education in a number of ways:

  • at a learning centre (also known as a pupil referral unit or short stay school)
  • at other venues, or with other providers, but arranged and managed by the learning centres
  • in the children's education unit at Dorset County Hospital

Learning centres

We have 4 learning centres:

Dorchester Learning Centre

Name: Phil Midworth
Tel: 01305261213
Full contact details

Sherborne Learning Centre

Name: Victoria Rashleigh
Tel: 01935 814582
Full contact details

The Compass (formerly West Dorset Learning Centre)

Name: Alison Glazier
Tel: 01305 206530
Full contact details

The Forum Centre (formerly Wimborne Learning Centre)

Name: Kim Rickford
Tel: 01258 455202
Full contact details

These are all registered as schools by the Department for Education (DfE). A learning centre provides alternative education for those pupils who are unable to access mainstream school. 

Pupils may:

  • have been permanently excluded from school
  • be unable to attend school for medical reasons

Hospital tuition

Dorset Council's Children's Services and Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust provide a tuition unit at Dorset County Hospital. They employ 2 members of staff to respond to educational needs across all age groups. At any given time the unit may need to respond to up to 20 pupils who are also patients. 

Children's Education Unit

Name: Dorchester Learning Centre
Tel: 01305251150
Full contact details

Advice on exclusions and support for parents

The Exclusions Officer offers training, advice and support to head teachers, governors, pupils and parents on all aspects of exclusion. Exclusion can be fixed-term or permanent. 

We've written an excluded from school guide to help you understand what happens if your child or young person is excluded from school. This is general guidance only. You can find more information from either the school or your local authority exclusions officer.

Contact the schools exclusion guidance and training officer for more information:

Schools Exclusion, Guidance and Training Officer

Name: Victoria Day
Name: Victoria Day
Tel: 01305 228658
Full contact details

Support for parents

It can be a very stressful and worrying time if your child is permanently excluded. Remember you don't have to deal with the situation on your own.

The Exclusions Officer will discuss the options that are available for your child. They will visit you at home and make arrangements on behalf of you and your child. If other professionals have worked with your child, for example, behavioural support teachers or an educational psychologist, the Exclusions Officer will ask for their views about appropriate educational provision. 

Access to education for children and young people with medical needs 

The Learning and Inclusion service and health services work together. They are committed to helping children and young people with health needs access as much education as their condition allows. 

Alternative support for children and young people who can't access full-time education at school

We have support available for children and young people who need help when they're unable to be at school full time. Support includes:

  • mentoring
  • maths and English
  • farming
  • construction skills
  • horse (equine) learning/therapy
  • forest school activities
  • outdoor learning
  • music recording and production
  • therapy
  • counselling
  • vocational training
  • employability skills
  • traineeships
  • outreach support
  • coaching
  • supported work placements
  • tutors
  • group tuition
  • online tutoring
  • teaching

This is called the alternative provision framework for children and young people. 

Speak to your local Education and Early Help (SEND) Team or school for more details.

Alternative Provision and Elective Home Education, Learning and Inclusion Advisor

Name: Lisa Linscott
Full contact details