100% of educational leaders recommend AV1 to others

Department for Education study shows that AV1 has a 1740% return on investment, improves mental health, decreases likelihood of Alternative Provision referrals among other major findings

Thursday 4th November 2021

Summary of APIF project

The Department for Education funded the largest ever AV1 research project, named APIF (Alternative Provision Innovation Fund), which after two years has drawn to a close.

The results are presented in a new report based on data collected throughout the study and a survey sent to educational leaders involved. Hospital and Outreach Education—a Northamptonshire-based alternative provision school—headed the project in partnership with nine other leading organisations working in Alternative Provision (AP):

  • Great Ormond Street Hospital School

  • Manchester Hospital School

  • Leicester Hospital School

  • Bristol Hospital Education Services

  • Gloucestershire Hospital Education Service

  • Manchester Hospital Schools

  • Shepwell Short Stay School

  • Cherry Tree Learning Centre

APIF set out to investigate the ability of AV1 to support the reintegration of children following a period of school absence due to poor health.

For this purpose, 90 AV1s were distributed to UK schools over two years, with a total of 80 students benefiting from them. In total in the UK, at least 648 pupils have now used AV1.


Together with organisations, such as those listed above, we at No Isolation intend to continually assess the effectiveness of our products. At the end of the two year study, we are excited to provide an update on the overall results.

AV1 enabled 75% of the pupils to:

  • Increase their attendance and keep up with schoolwork and peers
  • Improve their mental health, confidence and feelings about their future
  • Engage more with learning
  • Improve relationships with their teacher and classmates

And enabled at least 50% of pupils to:

  • Make greater progress in lessons and achieve higher grades than expected

  • Return to mainstream education at a quicker rate

  • Avoid referral to Alternative Provision (AP) or hospital school

Cost savings

We also found that AV1 saved costs for education providers.

Over the two years, we estimate that a minimum of £218,619 was saved.

  • During the project, 3 (6.8%) students were in special school education (Figure 1c)

  • AV1 could save at a minimum £56,838 per pupil in the first year of use, by avoiding the need to create a dedicated SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) school place. It could then save an additional £16,035 each year thereafter (refer to appendix for calculations)

  • Therefore, there is the potential that AV1 would have saved £218,619 in the two years, for these 3 students, had they used AV1 instead of a dedicated SEND school place

  • This equals a 1,742% return on investment per AV1 in the first two years

  • Savings could be even higher, as this number does not include any savings made from avoiding the need for home tutoring or transport support

    • The savings for those with these expenses is £224,873 per pupil over 2 years

Longer term, schools and local authorities could save money by not using places in AP, and for children with Education Health and Care Plans, they can experience their new school/special school place virtually whilst awaiting their placement, also improving the transition process.

– Cath Kitchen, CEO at The Skylark Partnership Trust, APIF project lead and Chair of the National Association for Hospital Education