pupil referral unit

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A type of school maintained by the local authority for children of compulsory school age who require education otherwise than at school. A high percentage of children attending PRUs have been permanently excluded from mainstream schools, but other groups of learners—such as those at risk of permanent exclusion, pregnant and teenage mothers, pupils with medical needs, pupils in hospital, and those who would benefit from a work‐related curriculum—may also access this provision. PRUs are established to meet the specific needs of the relevant local authority's area and policy. Some units will be on a single site while others may have many locations but be under a single management structure. Units may set up to offer education to discrete types of learner, e.g. hospital schools. There is no requirement to follow the national curriculum, but the curriculum offered must be appropriate to the needs and ability of each individual child (including any special educational need) placed in the provision, while ensuring that public resources are used efficiently. Pupils permanently excluded from school must receive full‐time education amounting to 25 hours per week, whereas pupils with medical needs have a minimum requirement of five hours or more if their condition allows. PRUs are subject to Ofsted inspections and should have regard to the need to plan for the reintegration of pupils into mainstream education where possible. No child may be placed in a unit without the agreement of the child's parents.

T. B.

Trisha Bowen,


Liz Ellis

Subjects: Education.

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