Professional referrals

Professionals: Request reduced education provision

Legally, schools have a statutory duty to provide full-time education for all pupils according to their age, aptitude and ability, taking into account any special needs. There is no statutory basis upon which to establish reduced educational provision for pupils, and as a rule, pupils should not be placed on a reduced timetable.

However, in very exceptional circumstances, the DfE acknowledge there may be a need for a temporary reduction in educational provision to meet a pupil’s individual need, but part-time timetables must not be treated as a long-term solution.

Exceptional circumstances

Medical reasons

If a pupil has a serious medical condition, where recovery is the priority outcome. These arrangements would be part of a medical plan agreed between the school and health professionals.  Before offering a reduced timetable for this reason, you must refer to the:


As part of a planned reintegration programme into school following, for example, an extended period out of school after exclusion, non-attendance or school refusal (8 weeks maximum).

Before you apply

Read the Reduced Education Provision policy before requesting a reduced timetable. The guidance includes more information on additional things to consider for vulnerable groups and children in care.

It also includes a reduced timetable agreement form, which must be discussed with and signed by the school and the parent or carer and kept securely with your pupil records.

There is a checklist at the end of the policy, which the headteacher should complete to evidence that the necessary risk assessments and other actions have taken place to ensure the child is safe. You will be prompted to upload this checklist with your application.

  • Reduced Education Provision Policy

    Download this document: Reduced Education Provision Policy (PDF: 222 KB)

    This guidance sets out the statutory expectations in relation to reduced educational provision and the exceptional circumstances where it might be appropriate to agree a short-term reduced timetable and the processes which must be followed.

    First published: 1/11/2021

How to apply

If you have read the guidance in full and the parent or carer has agreed to the reduced provision, you can submit your notification online.

The notification can be completed by the relevant staff member, as authorised by the Headteacher. Remember to upload the checklist with your application.

Notification of a reduced timetable 

What happens next?

The Children Out of Provision Panel (COPP) will review the provision that is being offered to individual pupils. This is to ensure the reduced timetable complies with the terms of the guidance. A local authority officer will contact the school following the outcome of the panel meeting.