The Pupil Referral Unit has been established to deliver education programmes (on behalf of the Local Authority) to children and young people who are out of school for a variety of reasons, according to DCSF guidance and government directives. We are committed to supporting vulnerable children and young people who have been or are at risk of exclusion from school.
Schools in Maidstone and Malling are committed to avoiding permanent exclusion and to work in partnership with each other and with MMAP through the Inclusion Forums. Pupils who are on the roll of a school will be more likely to remain engaged in their education. Alternatives to permanent exclusion must be considered by schools although it is recognised that there will be exceptional circumstances when this will be an appropriate sanction.
We aim to
- Enable a fresh start and supported access to mainstream
- Promote progress and achievement through quality teaching and learning
- Establish effective partnerships with referring schools for the benefit of our pupils
Pupils will be referred through the Local Inclusion Forum (the single point of access) or the Admissions Department for CiC.
The Forum will discuss the appropriate provision for each young person. It is expected that all pupils will have received the core levels of support within the mainstream school and the outcome assessed before a referral is made. As a minimum, it is expected that all pupils will have a completed CAF.
It is the responsibility of the Local Authority to secure education provision for all children in their area who are permanently excluded.
Pupils will be prioritised for admission as follows:-
Permanently excluded pupils who are:
- Children in Care
- Known to YOS
- Non-statemented with no access to other provisions
- Statemented pupils who have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD) and are awaiting other provision – on a time-limited basis only. A PRU should not be named as an appropriate educational provision on a statement of special educational needs
Pupils who have been excluded from a Maidstone and Malling school who live in another district will not be considered at the Maidstone and Malling Inclusion Forum but will need to be discussed at their own area IYFA forum.
Pupils who are not permanently excluded:
- Children in Care without an educational placement and with a history of SEBD.
- Pupils referred for a time-out from their mainstream educational placement
- Difficult to place pupils for whom a PRU placement may be appropriate as an assessment option prior to placement in the named school through the inclusion forums.
Pupils at KS4 may be referred to the PRU as a positive alternative route to prevent exclusion and to better meet needs (smaller groups / higher staff ratio)
Placements are based on need and assessed by the Inclusion Forum in the context of the number of spaces available. Referrals for these places will not be accepted where attendance is very low or parents/carers are not in agreement.
Pupils accessing provision will need an agreed onward route
KS3 placements are time-limited for 12 weeks. Placements will be reviewed on a regular basis to identify the appropriate timing for the re-integration process. Extensions beyond 12 weeks could be agreed when it is deemed that individuals may continue to benefit from the PRU placement.
How to refer
- Obtain the consent of parents/ carers, consult with young person/ child
- Carry out a thorough multi-agency assessment of the need to identify support – complete CAF.
- Complete an Inclusion Forum Form and bring to the Inclusion Panel for discussion
- Bring evidence of previous interventions including outcomes of the core standards for the pupil, Pastoral Support Plans, essential baseline information, i.e. academic, social/emotional, current educational provision/ curriculum, details of SEN and evidence of ongoing interventions
Referral procedures for provision will vary across the county according to need; provision within the locality and agreements with mainstream schools.
To ensure consistency and equity, locally agreed procedures should include a panel of professionals, which make recommendations in consultation with the management representative from MMAP. It is essential that this panel has access to all relevant paperwork to minimise delays and to avoid inappropriate placements.
Due consideration must be given about the appropriateness of proposed placements.
The following agreement and if a pupil is considered suitable for placement in the PRU then a home visit and a pre-admissions meeting will be held with the pupil, parents, carers and school representative. If the pupil is Statemented the AEN (Additional Educational Needs) Locality officer should be informed. The meeting should enable discussion and agreement about placement conditions, such as duration, rewards and sanctions, expectations of the pupil relating to work, behaviour and attendance, and exit strategies.
Once a place at a PRU has been confirmed, the pupil will attend as soon as possible. This must be by the sixth day for permanently excluded. LAC should be placed the day following a permanent exclusion.
Regular review meetings take place to assess pupil progress and readiness for re-integration (six weekly for KS3 or termly for KS4). The review will involve the pupil, the parent/carer, PRU representative and mainstream school representative.
Placement in the PRU should not be used as a “holding bay” for statutory assessment or for pupils awaiting a specialist placement. Referrals which indicate this intention will not be accepted as this is not the role of the service and does not allow for equitable access across stakeholders.
At KS3 transport will be provided by the referring school
At KS4 transport will be provided by the PRU
Exit strategies and progression routes should be planned through the planning and review process prior to starting any placement at the PRU
Timescales for re-integration will be agreed on referral and exit dates established at the admissions meeting.
When a child is permanently excluded the local forum will agree with their next placement, where possible prior to admission to MMAP.
Receiving schools should work with MMAP to prepare for the integration of the pupil as soon as he/she is considered ready. The timetable of the integration should be steered by the progress of the pupil in consultation with MMAP.
MMAP will review pupil progress regularly to determine and agree on the optimum reintegration timing. It is imperative that receiving schools attend all review meetings to monitor progress and to fully participate in the planning and engagement of their pupil.
MMAP will support a pupil’s re-integration as determined by the reviews and re-integration meeting.
Pupils in the PRU awaiting specialist provision having been assessed for a statement should be highlighted with SEN as without a school place and being priority cases. The PRU should not be seen as an alternative to specialist provision.
- Pupils accessing placements will be dual rolled with the mainstream school as the main and the PRU as the subsidiary.
- Pupils refusing to engage with the service will be returned to the home school. Schools should be discouraged from referring pupils who are non-attenders.
Successful reintegration is achieved by working in partnership through a mutually agreed programme. The relationship between pupil and mainstream school must be maintained throughout the period of the placement.