Pupil Referral Units 

Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) are ‘last chance saloons’ for children who can’t get the support they need in school and they have an incredibly tough role to play. When referred, these children are experiencing emotional or behavioural difficulties, that may include problems with anger, mental health issues, and school phobia/refusal.

So where do you start, when a child/young person has got to a point where they feel they’ve burnt their bridges and lack the trust in adults they need to get on?  Well, a simplistic approach to behaviour management underpinned by building positive relationships is absolutely the way to go. And it’s not just our opinion.

In an article written by two people who run a PRU in Hampshire (The Key Education Centre), these fundamental behaviours are proposed:  

  • develop a rapport using non-verbal as well as verbal cues.
  • adjust the tone and volume of your voice so that it conveys messages positively.
  • be assertive.
  • use scripts that work and choose your words carefully. 

We couldn’t agree more! These provide the absolute bare bones to success – trust in others and self-belief.

In the newly launched Behaviour with Bayley series of programmes, which is perfect for (but not just for) adults working in PRU, these same core skills are described and practiced in a way which really embeds these adult behaviours. Both series provide participants the opportunity to discuss how we manage ourselves and the way we behave with children who need any kind of behavioural support (- all children then!). The programmes also include opportunities to consider how we implement all-important routines and rules.

But the relationship must come first.

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