Today’s news review looks at pupil referral units and A-level pupil progress.
Pupil Referral Units (PRUs)
Today, Friday 11 August, BBC Breakfast ran a report about pupil referral units in Norfolk. The package looked at exclusion rates and interviewed pupils who said they felt much happier in their pupil referral unit than in their previous schools.
Where, for any reason, children of compulsory school age cannot receive suitable education schools have a duty to ensure suitable arrangements are put in place, this can include the child going to a pupil referral unit. A child can remain in this alternative provision for any length of time provided this remains in the child’s best interest.
It’s important to note that the proportion of pupils attending these establishments is less than one per cent of the overall school population. Furthermore, not all pupils who attend them have been excluded from mainstream education.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
Every child, regardless of their circumstances, deserves the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills to succeed in adult life.
The number of children in pupil referral units represents 0.03% of the primary school age population. These settings ensure children can continue receiving a high-quality education.
There are a number of reasons why pupils could be in pupil referral units – exclusion is not the only reason. The rules are clear that exclusion should only be used as a last resort in response to a serious breach, or persistent breaches, of the school's behaviour policy.
A -Level pupil progress
The TES has published a study on A-level pupil progress by teacher Tom Richmond. The study shows that average pupil progress across the 50 comprehensives schools with the highest average A-level point scores in England was higher than at the top 50 independent schools.
The Department welcomes such good results and thanks schools, teachers, parents and the pupils for all their hard work.