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Local authorities use pupil referral units (PRUs) as part of a spectrum of provision to meet the educational needs of pupils in their area who, for reasons of illness, exclusion or otherwise, are unable to attend mainstream schools.
The main role of PRUs is to ensure that pupils continue to receive an education while not attending mainstream or special schools. PRUs offer their pupils additional support and motivation in order to prepare them for reintegration to mainstream schooling. However, pupils will only be readmitted into mainstream settings when they are ready to benefit from it without disrupting the learning of other pupils. Pupils who need to remain in PRUs for longer periods are offered an education which is appropriate to their age, ability, aptitude and to any specific needs they may have.