Pupil Referral Unit (PRU)

For students who are at risk of exclusion from school, have been permanently excluded, or are not attending for other reasons, such as illness or pregnancy.

The PRUs core offer is to provide short-term placements (centre sessions) with the aim of successful reintegration into a mainstream setting.  

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.

How PRUs are monitored

As a school, PRUs are subject to the same Ofsted inspection and monitoring arrangements as all other maintained schools and academies.

Where we are based

In Cumberland, there are two PRUs that offer education to students aged 7 to 16 years old:

  • Carlisle (North) - also offers support to 5 to 7 year olds
  • Distington (West)  

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

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.

Contact Carlisle North PRU

Bob Hewson (Head Teacher)

Liz Dixon (Business Manager)
Gilford Centre
Upperby Road

Telephone: 01228 226957  
Email: elizabeth.dixon@cumbria.gov.uk 

Contact Distington West PRU

Helen Johnson (Head teacher)

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

Telephone: 01946 834848
Email: kerry.cox@cumbria.gov.uk