External Providers used by The Acorns School.


Apple Cast

Apple Cast offers a safe environment for young people to achieve through a wide range of alternative education options. Apple Cast includes indoor and outdoor angling, the now developed horticulture, conservation, fish breeding, aquaponics, agriculture and bespoke woodwork shops complement the existing fishery management qualifications and angling tuition.

All the education stems from the angling aspect of the program and allows young people to make options on the desired learning direction. All literacy and numeracy is embedded into the portfolio work completed and compliments the practical side of the projects.

This enables young people to complete tasks to develop work base learning skills along with a good work ethic. In addition to the various qualifications and accredited certificates the young people have the opportunity to gain, they will also learn key life skills including confidence, respect, patience and perseverance.

This excellent team have a proven record of working with hard to reach pupils, pupils who may struggle for a variety of reasons and have in many cases been able to turn around the pupils whole experience of education. 

Link to their website by clicking here Apple Cast (castnw.net)



BDS Training is an alternative educational training establishment with full City and Guilds approval since 2006 that offers pupils the opportunity to gain awards, certificates and diplomas. They provide training in hairdressing (inclusive of barbering) and Beauty Therapy and Health and Social Care.

BDS is a great environment for creative pupils who enjoy working with their hands, get on with people, or those who aspire to work with children. For more information on what topics are covered in each course please check out their website.

Link to their website by clicking here BDS Training, 31 Greenhey Place, Skelmersdale (2022) (beautynailhairsalons.com)



Educ8 provide Alternative Education across England working with schools and local authorities to deliver effective teaching solutions for learners at risk, or disengaged, from mainstream education. The Team are an inspiring, well managed, alternative education programme for Learners in Key Stage 3 & 4 that need support to a positive destination.

Educ8 have an extremely passionate and talented team of tutors who deliver their specialist subjects.

Subjects that can be studied at the Liverpool site this Academic Year 2021-22:

  • Art & Design
  • Hair & Beauty
  • Hospitality & Tourism
  • Health & Social Care
  • Construction
  • Sport (dependant on interest)
  • Functional Skills Mathematics and English

Link to their website by clicking here Educ8 | Alternative Education for Key Stages 3 & 4 | England Educ8 | Alternative Education for Key Stages 3 & 4 | England (educ8group.com)


Fir Tree Fisheries

Fir Tree Fishery CIC is a Community Interest Company that delivers alternative education, enrichment and rehabilitation opportunities through community inspired projects focused around angling participation, practical work skills and outdoor social action projects.

Our services include alternative education programmes such as Traineeships, Apprenticeships, BTEC programmes for local schools and personalised education, health and care plans designed around the needs of young people with special education needs and disabilities. Underlying all our education provisions are a range of community inspired and social engagement projects for adults with physical disabilities and/or those who are at risk of social isolation focused around angling and outdoor enrichment. Many of these events are supported by our young people who develop new skills and experiences by supporting and engaging with our older beneficiaries in the role of coaches, care support or simply being 'buddies' as we like to call them.

Click on the link to get to their website Fir Tree CIC Learning Centre



Pathways in Learning is a Community Interest Company offering alternative education to young people under the age of 16 for whom full time mainstream education may not be suitable due to social, emotional, behavioural or learning difficulties. These difficulties often impede their ability to take part in sustained and active learning so our first priority is to enable learners to re-engage with education in a caring and enriching learning environment.

Learning groups are kept small so that learners feel safe, secure and valued whilst providing tutors with the opportunity to deliver tailored teaching and support suiting the needs of each individual learner.

They offer a range of Level 1 and 2 accredited vocational qualifications including:

  • Art & Design
  • Business
  • Childcare
  • Construction
  • Hair & Beauty
  • Health & Social Care
  • Hospitality & Catering
  • Mechanics
  • Retail
  • Travel & Tourism

They also offer Functional Skills qualifications in English, Maths and ICT from Entry 1 to Level 2. All their courses are accredited through Open Awards and learners will complete initial assessments using BKSB software to ensure they are working towards levels of qualifications suitable for them. They can also offer GCSE support packages for Maths and English as well as accredited Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications (GCSE equivalents) in Science.

They work with learners and local businesses to secure work placements that enable the young person to familiarise themselves with the world of work, gain hands on experience and help them make decisions on the further education and career paths they wish to pursue. During year 11 we liaise with local colleges, apprenticeship providers and employers to ensure each young person secures a suitable next step and feels confident and secure in their decisions.

Click here to view their website We are currently working on our website (pathwaysinlearning.org)


PNE(Preston North End)

The programme is designed for hard-to-reach Key Stage 4 students who are disengaged with their school-based studies, lacking in confidence or self-esteem or displaying poor attendance in the standard school environment.

The Trust is now offering a range of courses that help to keep students engaged in their work and maintain their focus, also providing opportunities to learn new skills, too.

Please view their website by clicking on this link Secondary School Provision at Preston North End - Preston North End (pnefc.net)



Preston Vocational Centre (PVC) was established on 2 February 2009 with the charitable aim of advancing the education of children, young people and adults, especially those living within the Preston area, in particular through provision of vocational training, supporting their personal development and equipping them for further education, training and employment.

They provide vocational training in Construction, they have specialist staff to deliver the programme in a fantastic large building in Preston.

Here’s what they currently offer at PVC:

  • Building Skills: 14-16 Schools Link
  • Alternative Education: 14-16 Schools Individual or Group Placements
  • Building Futures: 16-18 Pre-Apprenticeship Programme
  • Get into Construction with More Positive Together
  • Twilight: Young People at Risk of Offending
  • SEND: 14-25 School or College Group Placements

For more information please visit their website Home | Preston Vocational Centre


Tower Learning

Tower Learning Centre is a DfE registered Independent School in Blackpool.

We offer Single Roll(Full Time) and Dual Roll Provision for those who have difficulty in accessing mainstream education for a variety of reasons.

Tower Learning Centre is a DfE registered Independent School in Blackpool who offers Full Time and Dual Roll Provision for those who have difficulty in accessing mainstream education, for a variety of reasons; such as:


  • Exclusion from mainstream school,
  • At risk of exclusion
  • Previously home educated
  • Children looked after,
  • School phobic
  • Victims of bullying
  • Mental health needs

Tower Learning Centre offers a holistic and flexible full-time and part time school experience that is designed to respond to the needs of  each pupil who is at risk or has  disengaged from mainstream education. Our dual and single roll programmes can cater for 20 pupils, and is designed for those children, aged 14-16 who require a smaller, nurturing and individual approach to their education.

Click here to access Tower Learning website Tower Learning | Independent School, Blackpool (tower-learning.co.uk)

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