Provider Access Legislation (PAL)

New legal duty: access to providers of technical education and apprenticeships (Baker Clause) 


High quality careers education and guidance in school or college is critical to young people’s futures. It helps to prepare them for the workplace by providing a clear understanding of the world of work including the routes to jobs and careers that they might find engaging and rewarding. It supports them to acquire the self-development and career management skills they need to achieve positive employment destinations. This helps students to choose their pathways, improve their life opportunities and contribute to a productive and successful economy. 

As the number of apprenticeships rises every year, it becomes increasingly important that all young people have a full understanding of all the options available to them post-16 and post-18, including wider technical education options such as T-Levels and Higher Technical Qualifications. 

Student Entitlement 

Schools are required to provide: 

  • Two encounters for pupils during the ‘first key phase’ (Year 8 or 9) that are mandatory for all pupils to attend, to take place any time during year 8 or between 1 September and 28 February during Year 9.
  • Two encounters for pupils during the ‘second key phase’ (Year 10 or 11) that are mandatory for all pupils to attend, to take place any time during Year 10 or between 1 September and 28 February during Year 11.
  • Two encounters for pupils during the ‘third key phase’ (Year 12 or 13) that are mandatory for the school to put on but optional for pupils to attend, to take place any time during Year 12 or between 1 September and 28 February during Year 13.


Wilmslow High School fully supports these statutory requirements.  We are aware of the responsibility to set students on the path that will secure the best outcome which will enable them to progress in education and work and give employers the highly skilled people they need. That means acting impartially, in line with the statutory duty, and not showing bias towards any route, be that academic or technical.  

We will endeavour to ensure that all students are aware of all routes to higher skills and are able to access information on technical options and apprenticeships (The Department of Education, July 2021: “Baker Clause”: supporting students to understand the full range of education and training options, and the Provider Access Legislation, January 2023). 

The school will enable providers to access to all students in Years 8 to 13 to inform them about the varied career options open to them, the courses and qualifications they offer and what each option entails.  This will take place before 28th February each year to provide consistency within the curriculum and ensure that students in Years 9, 11 and 13 are supported with important choices. 

This will allow: 

  • students to consider how the opportunity to study or train in different ways, and in different environments, might suit their skills, interests, and aptitudes 
  • Every student to build up a full picture of the options available to them at important transition points by hearing directly from providers about alternatives to academic and school-based routes 
  •  better-informed choices and help to reduce the risk of dropping out of courses 

Development and Management 

This policy has been developed and is reviewed annually by the Careers Leader (Mrs Cook) and Line Manager (Mr Spence) based on current good practice guidelines by the Department for Education.  

Links with other policies  

It supports and is underpinned by key school policies including those for Careers, Child Protection, Equality and Diversity and SEND. 

Equality and Diversity  

Access to other providers is available and promoted to allow all students to access information about other providers of further education and apprenticeships. Wilmslow High School is committed to encouraging all students to make decisions about their future based on impartial information.  

Providing Access 

Requests for access should be directed to Mrs Cook (Careers Leader) who may be contacted by email ( or telephone (direct line 01625 441090).  

There are opportunities for providers of approved technical education qualifications and apprenticeships to visit the school to speak to all students in Years 8 to 13. This will include visits from a range of providers:  

  • Further Education Colleges 
  • University Technical Colleges 
  • Apprenticeships and technical options 

The school will make provider visits available to all students in the relevant year group. The school should not do anything which might limit the ability of students to attend so the visits will take place during Wider Curriculum lessons (fortnightly Tuesday mornings between 9.05am and 10.05am) and registration time (daily 8.45am to 9.05am).  We will also use National Apprenticeship Week and National Careers Week to promote different providers.  Students may travel to visit another provider. 

The school will also provide a range of opportunities for providers offering academic options, including sixth form and tertiary colleges and higher education institutions, to visit the school to talk to students. This will help all students to develop a comprehensive picture of the education and training options available beyond the school. 

Details of premises or facilities to be provided to a person who is given access 

The school will provide an appropriate room or assembly hall to be agreed. All rooms have computers, projectors and screens provided. It may be possible to arrange computer rooms. The Careers Leader will organise this, working closely with the provider to ensure the facilities are appropriate to the audience.  Appropriate safeguarding checks will be carried out in line with school and Department for Education policy).  Providers will be met and supervised by a member of the Careers Team. 

Live/Virtual encounters 

We will consider live online encounters with providers where requested, and these may be broadcast into classrooms or the school assembly hall. Technology checks in advance will be required to ensure compatibility of systems.  

By carefully considering the frequency and scale of opportunities to offer to providers, the school can minimise the burden of dealing with unsolicited requests. For example, the school may decide to arrange an annual assembly for a whole year group and invite multiple providers, or work with a group of providers to deliver one presentation covering multiple further education or apprenticeship opportunities in the local area.   

Providers that have previously supported the school include: 

  • Macclesfield College 
  • Stockport College 
  • Reaseheath College 
  • The Manchester College 
  • Conlons Construction 
  • Manchester Metropolitan University 
  • Bennett Verby Accountants and Business Advisers 

Persons acting on behalf of a provider may represent the provider, or accompany the provider, if they are particularly well placed to engage and inform students about the options available. The school will consider such requests and consent cannot be withheld unreasonably.  

The school may wish to consult the Amazing Apprenticeships resource as well as the register of apprenticeship training providers to inform decisions about whom to invite in. The school may wish to enlist locally available support, for example the Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge for Schools (ASK) programme which delivers free traineeship and apprenticeship information and activities to young people in Years 10 to 13, or the Jobcentre Plus Support for Schools programme, which also provides this service for Years 8 to 13. 

Refusing access 

Access will be refused if: 

  • The provision is judged to not to be of the standards that Wilmslow High School wishes to promote
  • The provision is deemed to be promoting something with unnecessary risk or danger to health
  • The provision does not fit within our school ethos or attitudes

Complaints procedure 

Any complaints should be raised to Mr Vincent (Senior Deputy Headteacher – Ethos) email: 

Mr Vincent will raise the complaint to Ms Powley (Headteacher) email: 

Monitoring review and evaluation  

The Policy is monitored and evaluated annually by the Careers Leader and the Extended Leadership Team. 

Policy Coordinator: Mrs Cook 

Policy Reviewed: July 2023 

Date of Next Review: July 2024