In the UK, a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) (Pupil Re-integration Unit in some LEAs) is a centre for children who are not able to attend a mainstream or special school. Each local education authority has a duty to make arrangements for the provision of education in or out of school for all children of compulsory school age. If children may not receive suitable education for any period for reasons such as illness or exclusion from school, these arrangements can be made through Pupil Referral Units - which are a mixture of public units and privately managed companies.
Very often such pupils are described as displaying EBD - Emotional and/or Behavioural Difficulties. More common causes can include the consequences of situations in the home; inclination to commit crimes; through to being bullies or (conversely) having been the targets of bullying.
There are currently over 421 PRUs in England. In 2002-03, 17,523 pupils attended Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) at some point. Although PRUs do not have to provide a full National Curriculum, they should offer a basic curriculum which includes English, mathematics, the sciences, PSHE and ICT. A PRU is legally a type of school which can be inspected by Ofsted.
A pupil referral has been legally referred to as a "short Stay School" from September 2010. This means that pupils do not stay permanently.
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