Welcome to Northern House School (PRU)

Overall aims of the PRU

For primary age children in Wolverhampton schools, who are disengaged with learning and struggling to function successfully in their class setting and are at risk of exclusion, or who have been permanently excluded. 

The PRU provides:

  • Bespoke and tailored intervention to meet each child’s individual needs, addressing academic, social and emotional deficiencies.

  • Motivation, teaching and inspiration for children to want to learn and become active members of their referring or destination schools (referred to hereafter as ‘RODS’).

  • Engagement of children with learning and reintegration back into their referring school as more independent learners.

  • A preventative measure offering an alternative to exclusion from the referring school.

  • Supported attendance at RODS alongside days at the PRU.

  • Development of the skills of the RODS’ staff through sharing good practice.

  • Work in conjunction with RODS to implement a graduated response during re-integration phase.

The aim of our PRU is to identify and support those children who will need short term specialist support in order to be able to learn and function successfully in mainstream  schools. They may have communication difficulties or be exhibiting behavioural challenges for any number of reasons. Our PRU aims to support children in becoming more responsible for their own learning and having a more positive attitude towards school.

There must be a strong relationship between the child, the Centre and RODS. The RODS must be committed to working together with the PRU, to support the child to enable him/her to remain in or return to mainstream education full time. This is an opportunity for CPD for teaching and support staff to develop reflection and build capacity in their daily practice. 

As part of a multi- academy trust, the PRU will, when necessary, be able to call upon the resources available at Northern House School, City of Wolverhampton, and other Trust schools. The PRU will be able to offer guidance on amending the support and management of the child in RODS. If reintegration is to be successful then it is essential the RODS follow this advice. 

A number of assessment tools are used for identification purposes in order to give objective information about how a particular child’s needs compare to others. For example:  QCA behaviour assessment, Boxall Profile and a Risk and Resilience Tool. For more information see the PRU’s Referral Form.

The desired outcomes for a child attending the PRU are: 

  • Return full time to their RODS.
  • To be re-engaged and focused on learning.
  • Have a more positive attitude towards learning and school in general.
  • More responsible for their own learning.
  • Moving towards independent learning.
  • Improved National Curriculum levels.
  • Any learning needs to have been identified and a learning programme devised to meet individual targets.
  • Good attendance.
  • Reduction in number of negative incidents.
  • Improved self-esteem.
  • Improved Parent/Carer/Pupil/School relationship.


Why the PRU is a short stay school 

The children may spend all of their time or only a part of their time in the unit, returning to their RODS as appropriate. In all cases, children will stay on a mainstream school’s roll. Children must have a mainstream school placement in order to attend the Centre. 

Northern House School (PRU) prides itself on its positive, nurturing ethos in which the educational and pastoral care of its children is of paramount importance. It is a happy, friendly, caring environment that has high expectations of childrens’ behaviour and where children are encouraged to reflect upon their attitude to the learning environment. 

Our pupils are able to follow personalised learning programmes which enable the needs of the child to be met more effectively. Staff are highly skilled and trained in dealing with a range of behaviours. The expectations on standards of teaching and learning are also very high.  

Staff are trained in safe physical intervention (P.R.I.C.E – protecting rights in a caring environment) coupled with an understanding of how to de-escalate and be sensitive to the needs of the children. The idea of our pupil referral unit is to ‘catch’ children before they become permanently excluded. In such cases, there will be an expectation from the PRU that no pupil will be permanently excluded by their referring school during the PRU’s intervention. 

Practical details at a glance:

  • For children in key stages one and  two
  • Flexible timetable to allow some time to be spent in mainstream school.
  • Children will stay on the referring school’s roll, or have a confirmed place with an alternative mainstream provider.
  • Referring schools arrange and deploy relevant key staff to observe the child in the PRU and support re-integration following a 6 week review meeting.
  • Target time for re-integration into a  mainstream setting: 12 weeks


Identification and Access


It is likely that most of these will apply for a child to be considered for intervention by the PRU:

Child factors:

    • Has been identified by the RODS as having SEN, may be subject to a statutory assessment for SEMH or SLCN.
    • May be subject to EHA, CIN, CP or have experienced/witnessed domestic violence, substance/alcohol misuse, early trauma and attachment issues.
    • Behaviour can be a barrier to learning
    • Display challenging behaviour that is difficult to manage within the RODS
    • Attention seeking behaviours
    • May not feel safe within the school setting
    • Finds it hard to cope with disappointment, rejection in social situations.
    • Struggles to manage unexpected changes to routine
    • Low self -esteem impacting on learning and behaviour
    • May be withdrawn, quiet or disengaged
    • Strained relationships with adults and peers

School Factors:

We would expect the school to have the following provision in place: 

    • A personalised individual behaviour plan based on risk assessments that have been monitored regularly and detailing: 
      • Minimum of 10hrs support per week.
      • SMART learning/behaviour targets.
      • Agreed behaviour strategies used consistently.
      • Personalised reward system.
      • Individual Risk assessment detailing challenging behaviour patterns.
      • Pastoral Support Plan (PSP)
      • Home/School links.
      • Outside agency involvement.
      • EHA/CIN/CP process in place if appropriate.
      • Targeted interventions attempted, with measured impact and engagement.
      • Cognitive assessment or formal assessment from educational psychologist.


Northern House School (PRU)  - Intervention Agreement

Northern House School (PRU) agrees to:-

  • Work in partnership with the RODS to ensure the most effective outcome for the young person.
  • Assign a staff member to observe the child in their RODS at least 4 times during a placement, leaving contact notes with agreed actions. These will also be copied to the SENCO.
  • Supply an Exit Report at the end of the intervention, summarising progress and strategies that work well for this child.
  • Voice concerns at the earliest opportunity.
  • Send all incident forms and safeguarding incident reports to the designated person in the RODS.
  • Inform the RODS of any high level incidents that may happen at the PRU.
  • Keep open lines of communication.
  • Inform the RODS at the earliest opportunity if a meeting needs to be cancelled.
  • Liaise with Parents/Carers where appropriate.

The RODS agrees to:–

  • Work in partnership with Northern House School to ensure the most effective outcome for the young person.
  • Voice concerns at the earliest opportunity.
  • Release a Class Teacher for an initial meeting prior to a child’s admission into the PRU.
  • Inform the PRU of any high level incidents that may happen at the RODS
  • Release Class Teachers or T.A.s for requested meetings with the RODS for feedback, etc. (minimum of 4 meetings).
  • Supply requested entry and exit assessments.
  • Keep open lines of communication.
  • Inform the PRU at the earliest opportunity if a meeting needs to be cancelled.
  • Adhere to the DfE’s statutory guidance for commissioning alternative provision.