Yorkshire news City secondary school with four pupils will reopen as a SEND facility MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Ofsted found failings and the pupil referral unit is due to close
Breaking News ! A Bradford pupil referral unit earmarked for closure will undergo a major transformation to become a school for pupils with special educational needs. Last month it was revealed that the District PRU on Anerley Street would soon be closing as it was no longer “financially viable.” The school, for secondary school aged pupils who have been excluded from other schools, currently has just four pupils, despite having space for 180. And it is is currently costing £85,000 a month to run. Bradford Council now proposes to re-use the site as the District’s latest SEND school, and at a meeting of the Council’s Executive next Tuesday members will vote whether to move ahead with the plans. To get the latest email updates from MyBradford, click here . The PRU, which is for 11-16 year olds, has had a difficult few years. When it was inspected by Ofsted in March 2017 it was judged to be inadequate and placed into special measures. Inspectors highlighted “frequent incidents of violent and aggressive behaviour”, weak safeguarding arrangements and “unacceptably high” absence rates. It became subject to an academy order in November 2018, meaning the school would have to find an academy chain to take over and reverse its fortunes. However, there had been little success in finding an academy sponsor for the unit. As pupil numbers fell, the school was deemed to be in a “financially unviable position” and it was decided to close the PRU “due to no academy sponsor being identified or a sustainable financial plan.” The unit will close on March 31. There are currently 27 staff at the school and the report says work is being done to re-deploy staff in an effort to avoid compulsory redundancies.
. Between January 2020 and January 2021, the number of children and young people in Bradford with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) increased from 3,860 to 4,664. The Executive will be told that Bradford’s current SEND provision is “full to capacity.” It is predicted that 320 to 360 new SEND places will need to be created each year in Bradford to meet demand, and prevent children being sent out of the district to find a school place. A report to the Executive, which meets online next Tuesday, says the Anerley Street site has already been used for specialist school provision recently. It says: “Since September part of the DPRU premises has been used as a split site for Oastlers Special School until their new site in Keighley becomes available (expected to be available in May 2021). “This is to accommodate the growing numbers of students with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs. “Without being able to use this space, children would have had to be educated out of the Bradford District.
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“The successful occupancy by Oastlers has demonstrated that the building is able to be used for multiple occupancy with no detrimental effect on Oastlers or DPRU students. This proposed alternative use of the DPRU site, will ensure the continued delivery of high quality and cost effective provision for children and young people of Bradford. “The Local Authority has identified £2.6 million from the Basic Needs Allocation in addition to SEND Capital allocation from central government to fund the ongoing SEND expansion projects. “Some of this funding will be allocated to the modifications required to deliver the additional specialist places at the site of the District PRU.”
Source = MetiNews.Com