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Still no decision made on future of North Powys Pupil Referral Units

The Pupil Referral Unit in Newtown is in danger of closure due to budget cuts (Pic: Google Streetview)

THE FUTURE of a specialist school at the centre of a whistleblowing incident in Powys is still undecided.

The North Powys Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) in Newtown one of two specialist units in the county that are under thread of closure due to Powys County Council cutbacks.

The other PRU is in Brecon.

Their future is a hot topic because proposals to close a PRU in Powys to save £600,000 over two years are part of this year’s council budget.

The idea emerged in January when the draft budget papers were first published.

The lack of detail of the proposal was criticised at a scrutiny meeting ahead of all budget proposal for 2024/2025 budget being agreed at a meeting in February by a slim margin.

Part of the budget includes the to make £10.652 million in cuts, savings, and income generation to balance the books.

Remodelling PRUs is estimated to save the council £325,555 this year and £251,285 next year.

However, a month into the financial year – there are still no clear details of what will happen.

A council spokesman said: “A comprehensive business case is being completed and therefore no decision has been made as to what the future of the PRU provision in Powys will look like.

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“A number of options remain under consideration, and these will be scrutinised through the relevant pathways in the council before being submitted to cabinet for a decision to be made.”

PRUs are small specialist schools that deal with children who need greater support than mainstream schools can provide.

Pupils attend PRUs for a range of reasons including exclusion from mainstream school due to behavioural issues, mental health issues and illness.

Local authorities are legally obliged to offer this kind of alternative school provision and Powys has two PRU’s, one based in Newtown and the other in Brecon.