Future Development of the Pupil Referal Unit and Access to

The Future Development of the
Pupil Referral Service and
Access to Alternative
Provision in Somerset
1) What has happened so far?
There have been two meetings of the task and finish group.
The first meetings have focused on the following agenda:
Define the purpose of the task and finish group
Establish the timeline for the review
Provide background information on the need for a review
Outline the potential impact of government legislation
Identify local needs and gaps within Somerset
Outline the statutory duties for PRUs
Discuss options for doing things differently
Define some key principles on which to base the discussions
Review the consultations provided by the area heads meetings and
the online survey
• Begin to develop an outline strategic model for the leadership
group on which to base future PRU development discussions
The Purpose of the Task and Finish
To consider all of the responses to the alternative provision
To develop the overall strategic vision for the Pupil Referral
Service across Somerset
To provide feedback and recommendations to the compact subgroup for vulnerable learners, the Compact Executive and
schools forum
To work up the operational and strategic detail that supports the
implementation of the strategic vision
To act as the link and provide feedback to the professional
associations that each member represents.
To establish a timeline and monitoring processes that support the
implementation of the strategy
To meet all deadlines as required by the Compact.
Initial Timeline
T&F Group - Friday 4th Nov - Initial discussions regarding
overarching principles
T&F Group - 14th Nov – consider consultations received – begin to
work up documentation on the outline strategic vision
Compact (Sub Group) – 22nd Nov – Report back to the Compact on
the the work so far and the outline strategic vision
T&F working groups - meet to work on refining the operational and
strategic activities with co-opted members (w/b 5th Dec, w/b 9th Jan)
and establish the next phase of consultation
T&F Group - w/b 16th Jan - Final report prepared for Compact
Compact (Sub Group) – 26th Jan - Final report presented
Post Jan 26th – Implementation Phase
What are the Options?
All current funding for alternative provision is devolved to schools
to deliver their own alternative provision (together with all of the
duties around Section 19 (1) Education Act 1996
The delivery of alternative provision is put out to tender as a
contract for either a school, a cluster of schools or a private
provider to take on.
The pupil referral service uses new delegated powers and ability
to diversify and innovate to create fewer but larger PRUs that
operate as schools in their own right. Working closely as partners
with clusters of mainstream and special schools.
Or any combinations of the above
Key Questions
Discussions have focussed on the following areas
1) Geography – where should they be?
2) Areas – how will they link to partners?
3) Integrated PRUs – cross phase and function
4) Improving diversity of provision - In-reach/Out-reach
5) Sites – multiple, single, shared sites
6) Budget – delegated, devolved to schools, traded contracts
7) Governance – accountability
8) Leadership – executive heads
9) Centres of Excellence
10) Partnership Working
11) Diversification
12) Access – PEVP future
13) Continuum of Provision
2) What has happened so far
Gathering feedback from the consultation
57 returns: 43 Primary, 2 Secondary, 8 PRU, 4 LA officer
75%+ strongly agreed the notion of pupil numbers, needs and geography
defining the provision
70%: support integration of the PRU’s most referring to wider integration
with the mainstream school clusters
90%+: want to explore further the idea of the centres providing in-reach and out-reach
80% want leadership where the PRU head teacher links to mainstream and
special school networks
3) What has happened so far
What are the emerging themes
Key Principles
To explore further the idea of a Hub and Satellite PRU model.
To work on increasing diversity, provision and capacity of the existing PRU network
To ensure that any service should meet the needs of all vulnerable young people.
To explore further the integrated PRU model in its widest sense – Cross phase and
function - in and out-of-school support that is personalised and flexible. Integration with
mainstream and special schools and academies.
To explore further new opportunities for in-reach and out-reach work delivered by
specialist staff including for example SEBBS, adolescent support workers, PFSA’s and
deliverable to all Key Stages.
To ensure that any future service would provide out-of-school provision for KS 2, 3, 4,
LEC Medical Tuition and Virtual Classroom day 6 provision.
To ensure that Key stage 1 provision/support is highlighted as an area of need and
further discussion takes place in conjunction with other service reviews.
To facilitate real partnership working between PRU’s, mainstream and special schools
and other support services where there is the sharing of good practice and opportunities
to learn from each other.
To clearly recognise the geographic needs and differences across Somerset in planning
a new service delivery model. For example, the impact of the rural context in West
Somerset and Frome and the urban contexts of Yeovil and Bridgwater
To develop proactive identification and responses to support the needs of pupils before
they are excluded; i.e. closer tracking of need within schools.
To seek opportunities for specialist PRU staff to work closer with schools in order to
share their specialism; joint professional development needed.
The emerging outline strategic model
To develop four integrated (cross phase and function) PRUs three of which would offer or support the
delivery of smaller, but identical satellite provision in Frome, West Somerset and Chard
Each PRU would exist as a school within its own right and be self managing, but work closely as a
partner with defined clusters of schools but retaining the ability to offer provision and support outside
the defined area.
Each PRU school would have a delegated budget, a newly formed statutory management committee
body and a single management structure under a Headteacher. Partner members and agencies
would take an active role in the governance of the school and the Headteacher would belong to the
same professional bodies as other Heads.
The PRU school could potentially act as both commissioner and provider through partnership working
with schools and the voluntary and private sector.
Each PRU school could provide in-reach and out-reach programmes for schools within their cluster
through the management and deployment of specialist support staff.
Current projects for single site integrated PRUs in Mendip and South Somerset should continue and
could be used to contribute to increasing capacity elsewhere in the County. However, the integrated
PRUs could exist on single or multiple sites, but must retain the ability to support the more
geographically remote parts of the county through the active management/support of satellite
Key Stage 1 provision/support, SEN provision for pupils with statements within the PRUs, support for
vulnerable learners and their families and access arrangements for the integrated PRU schools needs
to be considered in closer relation to other service reviews for these areas.
Next Steps
Operational Activity
• Leadership and management
• Governance
• Area/Cluster Structure (geography/Need)
• Budget allocation – making it work
Strategic Activity
• Fair Access Protocol
• Linking BESD Strategy
• Area Panels
• Key Stage 1 and Early Years support
• Partnership working