Accipio Learning claimed to be the UK’s leading provider of live, interactive, online education and offers a learning experience that is similar to a mainstream school. In partnership with schools and local authorities, Accipio teach the most challenging pupils and help them achieve academic success and re-integrate into mainstream school. However in August 2011 Accipio Learning went into Administration.
Accipio Learning was targeted at young people who cannot attend mainstream secondary schools and operates ‘…much like a traditional school.’ Accipio listed young people who are excluded, at risk of exclusion, bullied, with medical needs, looked after children, have behavioural problems, are travellers, refugees and asylum seekers as being its core client group. The company worked with over 80 Local Authorities and over 100 schools and had more than 1000 pupils each academic year.
Accipio (based in Hatfield, Hertfordshire) operated as a ‘virtual school’ but its courses focussed on the core curriculum subjects. It offered the core curriculum at Key Stages 3 and 4 and nationally accredited courses in work-related learning and basic skills. Available subjects were:
- KS3 – English, Maths, Science & ICT
- GCSE – English, Maths, Core Science, Additional Science, ICT, Preparation for Working Life (PWL) and Enterprise and Employability (E&E).
Accipio also offered a range of New to English courses for pupils who do not speak English as their first language. It offers an archive of over 1500 pre-recorded lessons. It employed a full-time teaching staff of 40, a learning platform and online resources.
Live lessons were supplemented with homework. Lessons utilised Acippio’s own content and that of third party providers. Students joined lessons of up to 15 pupils and logged in at a set time. An on-screen register showed who was present. Pupils were equipped with microphones and headsets and/or messaging facilities and could use instant messaging to ask or answer questions so that either the whole class or just the teacher could see. A daily progress report gave mentors and LEAs an up-to-date assessment of each pupil’s progress.
Accipio worked on an ‘annual cost per seat’ business model but each purchased seat was transferable, meaning that if a young person needed two months access due to illness the school still had ten months credit. One seat for a single subject would cost £1440. A package of 5 subjects would cost £6400 per seat per annum. Costs reduced with the number of seats purchased. This did not include broadband (£1150 pp.pa) or technical support (£450pp.pa).
Accipio offered access to its Archive for Schools alone at a cost of £10,000 for 10 learners per annum. The Archive was a resource of over 1100 GCSE lessons covering English, Maths, Dual Science and ICT. The Archive took the format of electronically recorded lessons using visual content and teacher audio, making “virtual” lessons accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The website, allegedly at Accipio Learning does not appear to be available any longer.