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Pupil Referral Unit (PRU)

A Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) is a type of school that offers education to students who are; at risk of exclusion, permanently excluded from, or are not attending school for other reasons, such as illness (physical and psychological) or pregnancy.  As a school, PRUs are subject to the same OfSTED inspection and monitoring arrangements as all other maintained schools and academies.

In Cumbria, there are three PRUs - Barrow / Kendal (South), Carlisle (North) and Distington (West).  Each PRU currently offers education to students aged 7-16 with the exception of the North PRU who also offer support to the 5-7 age group.

The PRUs core offer is to provide short-term placements (centre sessions) with the aim of successful re-integration into a mainstream setting.  Each PRU offers a continuum of support in a specialist environment delivering a broad and balanced curriculum, therapeutic studies and, where appropriate, counselling services.  Outreach support, delivered by our specialist staff, enhances the PRUs collaborative working arrangements and is a valuable resource for pupils, parents and mainstream colleagues.

Longer-term placements are available for students whose needs cannot be met in a mainstream or special school setting.  These placements are primarily at KS4 and focus on preparing students for independent living and the world of work.

Whatever the context of the placement, a student's progress is assessed and monitored at all stages of their placement to ensure that provision remains appropriate and is outcome focused.

Placements are not referred by parents, each referral is discussed by a group of professionals who, based on their extensive experience, decide the appropriate action.

Contact us

North PRU

Bob Hewson (Head Teacher)

Liz Dixon (Business Manager)
Gilford Centre
Upperby Road
Carlisle
Cumbria
CA2 4JE

Tel: 01228 226957  
elizabeth.dixon@cumbria.gov.uk 

South PRU

Lisa Balderstone (Head teacher)

Leann Evans (Business Manager)
Newbridge House
Ewan Close
Barrow
Cumbria
LA13 9HU

Tel: 01229 407470 
pru.south@cumbria.gov.uk  or
leeann.evans@cumbria.gov.uk

West PRU

Helen Johnson (Head teacher)

Kerry Cox (Business Manager)
West Cumbria Learning Centre
Toll Bar
Distington
Cumbria
CA14 4PJ

Tel: 01946 834848
kerry.cox@cumbria.gov.uk