Jobs fears as pupil unit service faces shake-up

SHAKE-UP FEARS: The site of the Pupil Referral Unit in Neyland.  (5232200)

SHAKE-UP FEARS: The site of the Pupil Referral Unit in Neyland. (5232200)

First published in News

Around 25 teaching staff are facing redundancy following a decision to slash the numbers of students using the Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) in Neyland.

The Western Telegraph has learned that the vast majority of students using the PRU – now known as the Pembrokeshire Learning Centre – are to be returned to mainstream schools.

Between 25 and 30 teaching staff were told on Friday that their contracts would end on August 31.

It is understood that a small number of students will continue to be taught on site come September.

The PRU receives children from secondary schools around Pembrokeshire who are failing to thrive in mainstream education, or who have been excluded from their school.

The move has concerned some parents who fear for the potential impact on their children’s education.

Andrew Brown’s 15-year-old stepson, Brandon Sture, has Autism Spectrum Disorder and attends the PRU.

Mr Brown, from Pembroke Dock, said: “These kids have got these behavioural problems and they won’t cope in mainstream school.

“They are there because they desperately need the support that they can’t get in mainstream school. There has been no consideration for the kids. This is all about money.

“Where Brandon will end up and what he will end up doing, who knows? His future is important and he’s been left high and dry.”

Mr Brown also expressed concerns over the lack of information being given to parents.

“None of the parents have been given any notification whatsoever,” he added.

A spokesman for Pembrokeshire County Council said: “We are reviewing and developing specialist provision across the county and this includes elements of the education provision in the Pembrokeshire Learning Centre.

“Specialist provision is planned to continue from the site and children from schools with specialist needs will have access to it.

“Some of the young people who attend at present will leave naturally at the end of the school year, others will continue to attend or go to alternative provision as agreed with their parents.”

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