Provider Access Legislation

Provider Access Legislation (PAL) Policy Statement

Access for colleges, training providers, university technical colleges, universities and all other post 16 providers, including technical, vocational, academic routes and apprenticeships as well as traineeships and supported internships

Updated January 2023

Astrea Academy Woodfields

At Astrea Academy Trust we are proud of the excellent professional relationships that we have with employers, training providers, colleges, sixth forms and universities.  We recognise the importance of students from Year 7 to 13 having full access to these providers throughout their time at school in to have enough information to make a well informed and realistic decision about their future. We welcome external providers coming into school to impart this information to our students and operate under the guidance principles of true impartiality.  We also fully recognise and are committed to the student entitlement updated Provider Access Legislation applying to Year 8 and onwards. This complies with the school’s legal obligations under Section 42B of the Education Act 1997.

Student Entitlement – All students in Year 8 to 13 are entitled…

  • to find out about technical education qualifications and apprenticeships opportunities, as part of a careers programme which provides information on the full range of education and training options available at each transition point;
  • to hear from a range of local providers about the opportunities they offer, including technical education and apprenticeships as well as academic and other vocational routes – through options events, assemblies and enrichment events.
  • to understand how to make applications for the full range of academic and technical courses.

In line with the updated Provider Access Legislation, from January 2023, all schools must provide a minimum of six encounters for all students with post 16 providers, as above. This is broken down into key phases: –

1st key phase      Year 8 or 9          Two encounters for students that are mandatory for all to attend

2nd key phase     Year 10 or 11     Two encounters for students that are mandatory for all to attend

3rd key phase     Year 12 or 13     Two encounters that are mandatory for the school to put on but
optional for students to attend

These provider encounters will be scheduled during the main school hours and the provider will be given a reasonable amount of time to, as a minimum:

  • share information about both the provider and the approved technical education qualification and apprenticeships that the provider offers
  • explain what career routes those options could lead to
  • provide insights into what it might be like to learn or train with that provider (including the opportunity to meet staff and students from the provider)
  • answer questions from all students, including our most able, our most vulnerable and those with additional learning needs

Astrea Academy Trust defines an encounter as at least half an hour, during the academy day.

The school day at Astrea Academy Woodfields runs from 8.30am until 3.10pm.

Partnership Working

As part of our careers programme, we will consider requests from approved training, apprenticeship, technical and vocational education providers, including University Technical Colleges to speak to our students. Astrea Academy Woodfields will also approach these providers directly when planning and organising key career related events throughout the school year such as school assemblies, curriculum lessons, enrichment events and post 16/18 options fayres.

The quality and impact of careers provision at Astrea Academy Woodfields is monitored by our Senior Leadership Team, our National Careers Lead for the Trust and other senior leaders within the wider Trust. Access and opportunity to engage with technical, vocational and training providers will form part of this process.

Management of Provider Access Requests

In the first instance, requests by providers should be sent with a minimum of six weeks’ notice to the following email address:

The request should include:

  • The proposal format, timings and duration of the request;
  • The number of staff from your organisation who propose to visit;
  • Any support requirements of the school.

All requests will be considered on the basis of:

  • Clashes with other planned activity, trips or visits to the Academy;
  • Interruption to preparation for examinations;
  • Availability of academy staff, space and resources to host the activity.

The Principal may, at her discretion, refuse a request if it would be likely to be detrimental to the safety or wellbeing of children or staff, or if granting the request would be likely to bring the academy or the Trust into disrepute.

If a request is granted, the provider will have access to:

  • A large room within the school (for example the Main Hall or Lecture Theatre);
  • Audio-visual equipment, including a laptop, projector or interactive whiteboard;
  • Stationary as required;
  • At least one member of academy staff.


Please find a link to our safeguarding policy which gives you information about our commitment to safeguarding for young people within the school and community.

AAW Social Media & Online Safety Policy September 2023

Prior to providers coming into the school for CEIAG purposes, Astrea Academy Woodfields will undertake a risk assessment to ensure that visitors have the right information and guidance to keep themselves and young people safe.

If you have questions about any of the information in this policy, please contact Astrea Academy Woodfields’ Careers Leader, Richard Ayres by email at


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