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Pupil Referral Unit

(19 Posts)
pinkpepperpod Wed 17-Jun-15 10:44:03

I've name changed for this, because it could potentially out me, and I'd rather keep my usual user name anonymous.

After over a year of problems at school it's been suggested that my daughter moves to a pupil referral unit. She hasn't been expelled from secondary school, but it's heading that way. We have tried a managed move to another secondary, but unfortunately it didn't work.

Has anyone got any experience of pupil referral units? I've read everything I can find (which isn't that much), but it would really help to hear from people whose children have been to one, or who have worked in one.

Because of my daughters age (14), I think if she starts, she will stay there until after GCSEs.

I sound quite calm here. I don't feel it.

diane434 Wed 17-Jun-15 17:04:32

I don't think she'd stay there till 16. They often try and reintergrate after 6 or so weeks. It can be a very positive experience. My friends son went she was devastated but he finally received assesments etc had help then they managed a move to a more suitable school with more chance of success. I know it wont always run so smoothly but my friend was pleasantly surprised.

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 17-Jun-15 17:08:12

yes my son was in a PRU....he was there for a couple of terms as I recall rightly.

Then as part of his 'managed move' he was 'reintegrated' back into school, only that didn't work but that is another story.

I do know one or two boys and girls that have been in the PRU, and some of them do stay til 16. IN our county pupils in the PRU are only entered for 'GCSE equivalents' which are not equivalent really. So you might want to check on that.

Is there anything specific you would like to ask?

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 17-Jun-15 17:09:42

it was quite a positive experience, a taxi was laid on for him to get there, and he spent a lot of one on one time and could spend eg the whole day on one art project.

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 17-Jun-15 17:22:10

oh an by the way, talking about the PRU on this forum goes down like a sack of shit

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Wed 17-Jun-15 17:32:37

I have very limited knowledge of how the PRU works but I just wanted to reassure you that one or two of DS1's year group (that I am aware of, there could have been more I suppose) went to our local PRU for a term or two & then appeared back in school.

So it doesn't necessarily have to be permanent. You have my sympathy, DS1 had many issues whilst at school, including being on a part-time basis for much of Years 10 & 11. It feels like the end of the world at the time. But it generally isn't flowers.

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 17-Jun-15 17:33:56

no it is not a disaster.
Ds has just done his GCSEs....

pinkpepperpod Wed 17-Jun-15 17:35:19

Thank you Sunny and Diane! I did wonder if MN would hate it. It wasn't my dream educational path for her, but I've looked into it as much as I can, and I can see its probably the only thing for her - at the moment, anyway.

I've looked at the centres website and they seem to offer some GCSEs. I can see History and Maths GCSE exams on their news page. Thanks for the heads up though, you've given me the question to ask when we go to look round.

Sunny can I PM you?

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 17-Jun-15 17:36:10

sure thing but be quick plz!

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 17-Jun-15 17:38:04

sorry do PM me but I will not be able to reply til tomorrow.
Above all, do not panic, the PRU was a good place for DS at that time.

Gdydgkyk Wed 17-Jun-15 17:38:15

Can be short or long term. I found the staff had good people skills and there was a lot of support. Positive experience.

littlesupersparks Wed 17-Jun-15 17:40:45

I haven't worked in one but it is my ambition to do so. I am a secondary school teacher and feel strongly for disaffected teenagers who can be marginalised by the education system. All staff I have met who have worked in these units have a great affinity for young people and are much more approachable than authority figures in school. I hope it's a success for your daughter. I would definitely check out what would happen with GCSEs - I agree that 'equivalents' are rarely equivalent in reality as colleges/employers want GCSEs.

pinkpepperpod Wed 17-Jun-15 17:42:46

Thanks SantasLittleMonkey.

It does feel a bit like the end of the world, and I'm scared of making a decision that will mess up the rest of her life. I spoke to someone from the centre earlier today and they agreed with what you've all said, about it not having to be permanent. My parent support advisor told me that she thought it was.

bloodyteenagers Wed 17-Jun-15 17:47:08

No it's not a disaster. My ds was in pru for 4 years and dos his gcse's there. He did math, English, art, IT, science. Which was remarkable as he was failing.

Integration didn't work.
Most Sn school wouldn't take him because he was more than they could deal with. And the la wouldn't
Pay for the few places that would be able to cope.

Finola1step Wed 17-Jun-15 17:48:51

I think something that must always be taken into account with a PRU is the staff. They tend to be more experienced than teachers in mainstream. And they chose to teach there. They chose to teach young people who may be experiencing difficulties. They want to work with the more challenging pupils because this is where they get their job satisfaction. It takes a special kind of teacher to be really good in a PRU.

I say this as someone who has been in the job for 20 years. I have worked with a range of challenging children in mainstream. I take my hat off to staff in our PRUs. They are the people who sometimes work the magic and get the child back on track. Not always, but sometimes.

Shinyshoes2 Wed 17-Jun-15 17:49:58

My son was in one . Very positive for him . They give the students support that that mainstream schools are ill equipped to .
My son had a fabulous tutor there . In all honesty I really didn't want him to leave .
He got on much better there than at school . He was there 2 years until he was 16 .. He was permanently excluded from school though
He got on much much better and left with some great results which I believe he wouldn't have got from school

Finola1step Wed 17-Jun-15 17:51:07

And it does not need to be permanent. Every child attending a PRU is different and should be treated as such. Some will be long term, some short. For some, a phased return to mainstream might work.

Gdydgkyk Thu 18-Jun-15 10:11:45

Great great staff!! Kids with better self confidence who feel held in good regard.

anthropology Sat 20-Jun-15 07:47:43

When my DD had MH issues at 14, we met with some. In our borough, there were also charity/private units the LEA worked with. Our local PRU seemed to cope with mainly boys with behavioural issues, so it didnt suit. The LEA are responsible to support your DD until GCSES, so in our case we found a small private college and they funded it (after a battle). Just mentioning as there might be choices they wont necessarily offer. Shame you feel you cant be open on MN and get support. So many of our teens struggle, and it could happen to any family. Good luck.

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