I don't have any experience of them as a parent but I temped at one as a secretary once and was very impressed. The kids got much better ratios of pupil-teacher attention which seemed to be helping lots. The equipment in terms of PCs etc was pretty old though, but that would be a lesser issue for me. I'm sure others will have more informed comments to make.
Is that a permanent set up, or are they looking to move him to the PRU full time eventually? They need to be very clear with you about this.
Which days/how much time will he spend there? Are they the same days each week?
It sounds like it could be a really good idea if the PRU placement is to work on his behaviour and support him to be reintegrated into mainstream- if this is the case, then they need to agree a timescale (one term perhaps) to review the status quo. Force the issue on this; an ad hoc arrangement does nobody any favours, least of all your DS.
It may help if you contact the school and ask them to arrange for you to visit the PRU.
My expereince of PRUs is that the teachers are highly motivated and committed. The resources are great. Many pupils fair better than in main stream. However the pupils are there for a reason and of course things can get hairy.
My friends son has spent a fair amount of time in PRU's and off school. dfrom her experience the PRU was great, less pupils more supervision. Her DS settled really well and did so good he was sent back to mainstream. Unfortunately that is where the big problems started. At the PRU he was treated fairly, he didn't backchat as much and they really sttrived to understand him as a person and to help him work through his anger issues. As for hairy we noticed that at mainstream ds was one of the worst behaved but at the PRU he was not. Some of the kids could be prone to violent outbursts but they were much bettrer equipped to deal with it. You may find that when he is confronted with a level of beahviour worse then his it shocks him.
I have witnessed some difficult stuff, including fighting. However, it is not like that all the time. In fact it is incredibly calm because the teachers are appropriately trained.
I used to rep children in the care system and many were in PRUs. Given the huge issues these children faced, I think the PRUs dealt with them extemely effectively - not just containmnet, an actual education.
I will admit to having experience of a PRU. My feral urchin has ever been feisty, but this became uncontrollable after his mum, the lovely (if fearsome) Mrs Goth dropped dead. After a period of exclusions from mulitiple schools on his part, and denial, self-flagellation, and avoidance on my part, I finally allowed him to attend a PRU.
It was the right move. The PRU had small classes, motivated teachers with near one to one attention. He began to learn again. Yes many of the other kids were from horrifically deprived, neglectful and/or abusive families.
But many were actually quite nice. And several seemed to love to spend time, a lot of time, at Goth Towers. I wondered what awaited them at home.
But be warned. When I moved (at Xmas) into a different authority I went to see their equivalent provision. It was astonishingly poor, effectively an extension of the criminal justice system. I refused. He has since attended a fantastic village school, with his own TA (he has a fully funded statement, the PRU sorted that for us), and is moving on to a highly academic and high perfoming state secondary in September.
I am proud of him, and grateful to the PRU and the rural primary.
So be aware of the following points.
1. The PRU is a staging post. He will either return to mainstream education from there, or be channelled into EBD provision with a statement. You must decide which is best. I shudder at long term EBD provision (0.5% of kids there achieve 5 GCSEs. Oh yes) but it is better than repeatedly failing in mainstream.
2. Fight for a statement unless your DS's problems improve rapidly. Use it to get one to one help to facilitate mainstream return. REMEMBER mainstrean education is your child's right, unless he is posing a danger to others.
3. PRU and EBD provisions vary. Like all schools do. You are his parent, you still have a choice. Yes, be guided by the advice education professionals give, but look at the provision first. Talk to the people. Decide.
4. What has the Ed Psych said? Have ASD/ADHD/ODD or similar been ruled out?
Good luck! I am happy to be of any further aid, just ask.