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.”

Comments (8)

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7:39am Thu 10 Apr 14

Tttoommy says...

So the disruptive pupils, some of them dangerous will returning to normal schools - this of course in the short term will look as though it saves a few quid but the longer term?

NO,
So the disruptive pupils, some of them dangerous will returning to normal schools - this of course in the short term will look as though it saves a few quid but the longer term? NO, Tttoommy
  • Score: 12

10:59am Thu 10 Apr 14

Bilbo101 says...

The reason that many of these children are in this specialist unit in the first place is that they have been removed from mainstream school due to challenging and disruptive behaviour issues that mainstream schools have found that they were unable to cope with.

This decision just piles the pressure back onto the teachers and makes their job of being able to effectively teach our children so much harder. The referral unit has been operating successfully for over 30 years and now some bright spark at County Hall thinks that it would be a good idea to close it in order to save a few quid.

Many of these children are very vulnerable and desperately need the specialist help and support that this referral unit has provided well for many years.

I say that before the council start cutting essential services they should first tackle issues surrounding what appears to be BPJ personal greed and the huge external legal expenses that are run up defending his and his cronies poor decisions.

I find it absolutely amazing that a large percentage of the hard working staff at the council have seen HUGE cuts in their wages to save money yet PBJ is unaffected, instead he continues to enjoy his ridiculously high salary, which is far higher than most other Council chief execs and indeed our own prime minister, despite him running one of the smallest councils in the country. How the hell can this guy justify such a staggeringly high salary ?

His arrogance makes me want to vomit and the councillors who put him ( BPJ ) before the electorates wishes makes me very angry. This council is and has been mismanaged for far too long. We need a council chief exec who actually cares about the county, one who is not afraid to come out and defend his decisions in public, to the people, the electorate. BPJ might as well be a mannequin, because apart from the same photo with his "I am so arrogant" smirk, most Pembrokeshire people never see or hear from him. We only hear the words of his ever-so-loyal councillor cronies defending him. This council needs an overhaul and proper leadership and not a dictator surrounded by yes men.
The reason that many of these children are in this specialist unit in the first place is that they have been removed from mainstream school due to challenging and disruptive behaviour issues that mainstream schools have found that they were unable to cope with. This decision just piles the pressure back onto the teachers and makes their job of being able to effectively teach our children so much harder. The referral unit has been operating successfully for over 30 years and now some bright spark at County Hall thinks that it would be a good idea to close it in order to save a few quid. Many of these children are very vulnerable and desperately need the specialist help and support that this referral unit has provided well for many years. I say that before the council start cutting essential services they should first tackle issues surrounding what appears to be BPJ personal greed and the huge external legal expenses that are run up defending his and his cronies poor decisions. I find it absolutely amazing that a large percentage of the hard working staff at the council have seen HUGE cuts in their wages to save money yet PBJ is unaffected, instead he continues to enjoy his ridiculously high salary, which is far higher than most other Council chief execs and indeed our own prime minister, despite him running one of the smallest councils in the country. How the hell can this guy justify such a staggeringly high salary ? His arrogance makes me want to vomit and the councillors who put him ( BPJ ) before the electorates wishes makes me very angry. This council is and has been mismanaged for far too long. We need a council chief exec who actually cares about the county, one who is not afraid to come out and defend his decisions in public, to the people, the electorate. BPJ might as well be a mannequin, because apart from the same photo with his "I am so arrogant" smirk, most Pembrokeshire people never see or hear from him. We only hear the words of his ever-so-loyal councillor cronies defending him. This council needs an overhaul and proper leadership and not a dictator surrounded by yes men. Bilbo101
  • Score: 23

11:36am Fri 11 Apr 14

seaveiw says...

Bilbo101 wrote:
The reason that many of these children are in this specialist unit in the first place is that they have been removed from mainstream school due to challenging and disruptive behaviour issues that mainstream schools have found that they were unable to cope with.

This decision just piles the pressure back onto the teachers and makes their job of being able to effectively teach our children so much harder. The referral unit has been operating successfully for over 30 years and now some bright spark at County Hall thinks that it would be a good idea to close it in order to save a few quid.

Many of these children are very vulnerable and desperately need the specialist help and support that this referral unit has provided well for many years.

I say that before the council start cutting essential services they should first tackle issues surrounding what appears to be BPJ personal greed and the huge external legal expenses that are run up defending his and his cronies poor decisions.

I find it absolutely amazing that a large percentage of the hard working staff at the council have seen HUGE cuts in their wages to save money yet PBJ is unaffected, instead he continues to enjoy his ridiculously high salary, which is far higher than most other Council chief execs and indeed our own prime minister, despite him running one of the smallest councils in the country. How the hell can this guy justify such a staggeringly high salary ?

His arrogance makes me want to vomit and the councillors who put him ( BPJ ) before the electorates wishes makes me very angry. This council is and has been mismanaged for far too long. We need a council chief exec who actually cares about the county, one who is not afraid to come out and defend his decisions in public, to the people, the electorate. BPJ might as well be a mannequin, because apart from the same photo with his "I am so arrogant" smirk, most Pembrokeshire people never see or hear from him. We only hear the words of his ever-so-loyal councillor cronies defending him. This council needs an overhaul and proper leadership and not a dictator surrounded by yes men.
I agree fully with your comments, although not directly involved with this decision. I have sent an email to Paul Lewis expressing my concerns mainly for Educational standards and also Teachers work load,yesterday Western Mail raised issues regarding teachers facing so many current changes to education are "overwhelmed" this decision is adding to this,in a time where the whole system of education in Wales is under scrutiny, come on P.C.C. admit for once admit that the wrong decision has been made. Show us you can for once act democratically and take along term view,taking into account the duty of care to the young people in Pembrokeshire
[quote][p][bold]Bilbo101[/bold] wrote: The reason that many of these children are in this specialist unit in the first place is that they have been removed from mainstream school due to challenging and disruptive behaviour issues that mainstream schools have found that they were unable to cope with. This decision just piles the pressure back onto the teachers and makes their job of being able to effectively teach our children so much harder. The referral unit has been operating successfully for over 30 years and now some bright spark at County Hall thinks that it would be a good idea to close it in order to save a few quid. Many of these children are very vulnerable and desperately need the specialist help and support that this referral unit has provided well for many years. I say that before the council start cutting essential services they should first tackle issues surrounding what appears to be BPJ personal greed and the huge external legal expenses that are run up defending his and his cronies poor decisions. I find it absolutely amazing that a large percentage of the hard working staff at the council have seen HUGE cuts in their wages to save money yet PBJ is unaffected, instead he continues to enjoy his ridiculously high salary, which is far higher than most other Council chief execs and indeed our own prime minister, despite him running one of the smallest councils in the country. How the hell can this guy justify such a staggeringly high salary ? His arrogance makes me want to vomit and the councillors who put him ( BPJ ) before the electorates wishes makes me very angry. This council is and has been mismanaged for far too long. We need a council chief exec who actually cares about the county, one who is not afraid to come out and defend his decisions in public, to the people, the electorate. BPJ might as well be a mannequin, because apart from the same photo with his "I am so arrogant" smirk, most Pembrokeshire people never see or hear from him. We only hear the words of his ever-so-loyal councillor cronies defending him. This council needs an overhaul and proper leadership and not a dictator surrounded by yes men.[/p][/quote]I agree fully with your comments, although not directly involved with this decision. I have sent an email to Paul Lewis expressing my concerns mainly for Educational standards and also Teachers work load,yesterday Western Mail raised issues regarding teachers facing so many current changes to education are "overwhelmed" this decision is adding to this,in a time where the whole system of education in Wales is under scrutiny, come on P.C.C. admit for once admit that the wrong decision has been made. Show us you can for once act democratically and take along term view,taking into account the duty of care to the young people in Pembrokeshire seaveiw
  • Score: 3

9:48am Sat 12 Apr 14

gwddfdwfn says...

Tttoommy wrote:
So the disruptive pupils, some of them dangerous will returning to normal schools - this of course in the short term will look as though it saves a few quid but the longer term?

NO,
Not only that, but the counselling service - which is often what helps young people to manage their own behaviour and keeps them out of the PRU in the first place - is now being savagely cut, with staff being forced to reapply for their own jobs, and (on current plans) expected to work 5-day part-time weeks, denying them the possibility of making up the shortfall via other work.

Pembrokeshire, once regarded as a model of good practice in certain areas, now risks becoming, as it is in so many other areas - such as safeguarding - tail end Charlie. One wonders if it is a coincidence that so much of what is good in the education service has been destroyed only since Nichola Jones, Head of Inclusion and responsible for PRU, counselling service and behavioural support (also heavily cut), joined the authority from Bridgend?
[quote][p][bold]Tttoommy[/bold] wrote: So the disruptive pupils, some of them dangerous will returning to normal schools - this of course in the short term will look as though it saves a few quid but the longer term? NO,[/p][/quote]Not only that, but the counselling service - which is often what helps young people to manage their own behaviour and keeps them out of the PRU in the first place - is now being savagely cut, with staff being forced to reapply for their own jobs, and (on current plans) expected to work 5-day part-time weeks, denying them the possibility of making up the shortfall via other work. Pembrokeshire, once regarded as a model of good practice in certain areas, now risks becoming, as it is in so many other areas - such as safeguarding - tail end Charlie. One wonders if it is a coincidence that so much of what is good in the education service has been destroyed only since Nichola Jones, Head of Inclusion and responsible for PRU, counselling service and behavioural support (also heavily cut), joined the authority from Bridgend? gwddfdwfn
  • Score: 4

8:49pm Sun 13 Apr 14

Cymru bach says...

Bilbo101 wrote:
The reason that many of these children are in this specialist unit in the first place is that they have been removed from mainstream school due to challenging and disruptive behaviour issues that mainstream schools have found that they were unable to cope with.

This decision just piles the pressure back onto the teachers and makes their job of being able to effectively teach our children so much harder. The referral unit has been operating successfully for over 30 years and now some bright spark at County Hall thinks that it would be a good idea to close it in order to save a few quid.

Many of these children are very vulnerable and desperately need the specialist help and support that this referral unit has provided well for many years.

I say that before the council start cutting essential services they should first tackle issues surrounding what appears to be BPJ personal greed and the huge external legal expenses that are run up defending his and his cronies poor decisions.

I find it absolutely amazing that a large percentage of the hard working staff at the council have seen HUGE cuts in their wages to save money yet PBJ is unaffected, instead he continues to enjoy his ridiculously high salary, which is far higher than most other Council chief execs and indeed our own prime minister, despite him running one of the smallest councils in the country. How the hell can this guy justify such a staggeringly high salary ?

His arrogance makes me want to vomit and the councillors who put him ( BPJ ) before the electorates wishes makes me very angry. This council is and has been mismanaged for far too long. We need a council chief exec who actually cares about the county, one who is not afraid to come out and defend his decisions in public, to the people, the electorate. BPJ might as well be a mannequin, because apart from the same photo with his "I am so arrogant" smirk, most Pembrokeshire people never see or hear from him. We only hear the words of his ever-so-loyal councillor cronies defending him. This council needs an overhaul and proper leadership and not a dictator surrounded by yes men.
Hear hear.
[quote][p][bold]Bilbo101[/bold] wrote: The reason that many of these children are in this specialist unit in the first place is that they have been removed from mainstream school due to challenging and disruptive behaviour issues that mainstream schools have found that they were unable to cope with. This decision just piles the pressure back onto the teachers and makes their job of being able to effectively teach our children so much harder. The referral unit has been operating successfully for over 30 years and now some bright spark at County Hall thinks that it would be a good idea to close it in order to save a few quid. Many of these children are very vulnerable and desperately need the specialist help and support that this referral unit has provided well for many years. I say that before the council start cutting essential services they should first tackle issues surrounding what appears to be BPJ personal greed and the huge external legal expenses that are run up defending his and his cronies poor decisions. I find it absolutely amazing that a large percentage of the hard working staff at the council have seen HUGE cuts in their wages to save money yet PBJ is unaffected, instead he continues to enjoy his ridiculously high salary, which is far higher than most other Council chief execs and indeed our own prime minister, despite him running one of the smallest councils in the country. How the hell can this guy justify such a staggeringly high salary ? His arrogance makes me want to vomit and the councillors who put him ( BPJ ) before the electorates wishes makes me very angry. This council is and has been mismanaged for far too long. We need a council chief exec who actually cares about the county, one who is not afraid to come out and defend his decisions in public, to the people, the electorate. BPJ might as well be a mannequin, because apart from the same photo with his "I am so arrogant" smirk, most Pembrokeshire people never see or hear from him. We only hear the words of his ever-so-loyal councillor cronies defending him. This council needs an overhaul and proper leadership and not a dictator surrounded by yes men.[/p][/quote]Hear hear. Cymru bach
  • Score: 0

8:52pm Sun 13 Apr 14

Cymru bach says...

When these children return to mainstream schools they will have to have one to one LSA's .
How will that save money?
When these children return to mainstream schools they will have to have one to one LSA's . How will that save money? Cymru bach
  • Score: 0

10:54am Mon 14 Apr 14

saisneg says...

Cymru bach wrote:
When these children return to mainstream schools they will have to have one to one LSA's .
How will that save money?
I'll believe the promises made when I see them. And when I see them being maintained past a short period of time.
[quote][p][bold]Cymru bach[/bold] wrote: When these children return to mainstream schools they will have to have one to one LSA's . How will that save money?[/p][/quote]I'll believe the promises made when I see them. And when I see them being maintained past a short period of time. saisneg
  • Score: 2

12:00pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Rockface says...

This has been on the cards for over a year... one just needs to take notice of what is going on in mainstream schools such as Pembroke... they always publish minutes of meetings on their website... says it all here really:-

https://www.pgfl.org
.uk/schools/pbf/pemb
rokeschool/site/Minu
tes/2012%20Mar%2028.
pdf
This has been on the cards for over a year... one just needs to take notice of what is going on in mainstream schools such as Pembroke... they always publish minutes of meetings on their website... says it all here really:- https://www.pgfl.org .uk/schools/pbf/pemb rokeschool/site/Minu tes/2012%20Mar%2028. pdf Rockface
  • Score: 0

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