Future Structure of Alternative Provision

Closed 18 Nov 2016

Opened 21 Oct 2016

Results expected 2 Dec 2016


The Borough is very fortunate in having two successful Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) - Limes College and Sutton Tuition and Reintegration Service (STARS), both judged good or outstanding by OfSTED in recent years. This strength in provision has supported the excellent alternative education provision within the borough, with expertise in the PRUs supporting the high aspirations of schools.

The PRUs are well placed to take on additional challenges, with validation of the high quality of provision through recent OfSTED inspections and comparative data. The leadership teams of both PRUs are passionate about their work and ensuring that they meet the needs of their student groups. Both recognize that their PRUs can develop provision and thus maximise their impact on vulnerable students, filling provision gaps identified and extending the preventative offer that they might make to schools and to pupils who may be at risk of exclusion or disengagement from mainstream education.

In July 2015, a report was produced by the Inclusion Review Group to cover questions around the organisation, location and management of the PRUs; the sharing of their expertise across the PRUs; potential outreach to benefit other schools and students not on either PRU's roll.

One of the recommendations made in the report was for the Local Authority to consider the provision of up to 30 additional places across the secondary age PRU's. These additional 30 places would cost over £500k per annum of the budget at current funding levels. In addition, the formation of a new Primary PRU, formed as a standalone provision, was identified as a further priority, and this will also require additional top up funding to cover costs for the leadership team, administrative, finance and site costs.

Over the next five years, the combination of meeting existing and future demand for places could lead to further significant increases in the costs of alternative provision. By contrast the current funding position within the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) has required Schools Forum representatives to work with Local Authority officers to explore options to reduce costs. This means that in addition to the challenge of identifying how to fund the demand for additional places at both PRU’s, it is likely that just meeting existing demand for alternative provision will mean both PRU’s having to deliver education provision with further efficiencies. The additional place demand will only increase that need for further cost efficiencies.

Part of the rationale therefore behind the proposal to merge both PRUs is to support the sector in delivering cost efficiencies, which may be required both now and in the future.

The Inclusion Review group reviewed a number of options, and made a recommendation to merge the two PRU’s at STARS and Limes into a single provision.

The recommendation proposed that while the provisions would not be physically integrated, they should have the leadership and governance structures merged to form a combined leadership team and a single Management Committee drawn from existing members of the separate management committees at Limes College and STARS to run PRU provision. It would then be for the merged Management Committee and the merged leadership team to work on proposals for a new leadership structure and for other proposals for any changes to arrangements for providing the merged PRU’s with advice and resources for HR, finance and administration and other services.

The attached consultation document (under the Related heading, below) sets out further details on the context and rationale for the proposal, and to make relevant information available to all those being consulted.


Why We Are Consulting

To consult on a formal proposal to:

(a) To form a single Management Committee drawn from existing members of the separate management committees, to run Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) provision at Limes College and STARS.

(b) To form a merged leadership team working across both PRU’s, using a structure to be decided after merger.

(c) To retain the two PRU’s on their existing sites and to continue to support pupils with different needs in different buildings.




  • All Areas


  • Carers
  • Parents, carers and guardians
  • Students


  • Education