Pupil referral units (PRU) are becoming so stretched that they are unable to help schools prevent permanent exclusions for their most challenging pupils, a senior Ofsted inspector has warned. Giving evidence to an education select committee hearing on alternative school provision, senior inspector Sue Morris-King praised partnerships between some schools and PRUs to support children at risk of being permanently excluded. However, she warned that the number of permanently excluded children in PRUs is rising and leaving many too stretched to help schools with preventative work with pupils displaying the most challenging behaviour. “Students don’t have to be permanently excluded from school in order to go to alternative provision,” she told MPs. “What we see and what we saw repeatedly in our survey in 2016 was schools using good quality alternative provision as something that would help the young person to not be excluded.” Read more.