District PRU was established in 2008 as a virtual school commissioning a range of local Independent Schools and Alternative Providers over 20 different sites for students who were unable to continue to access mainstream education. I am proud to be the third Headteacher to continue to move this school forward in serving the needs of families and students across Bradford.
District PRU has been on a transformational journey over the last two years following a good judgement from Ofsted in January 2013. In continuing the journey towards an outstanding provision a full commissioning project was undertaken and a site sought to create a new school for District PRU; moving away from a solely virtual provision to direct teaching with students from across the district; directly in response to improving alternative provision that became Statutory Guidance in 2013 by increasing participation and attainment for all students.
I was invited to become Headteacher in April 2013 as an interim measure to complete a new vision and structure for the school. At that time there was considerable change within the school as a full commissioning consultation had begun. This has included a substantial new school refurbishment and significantly increasing staffing to meet the needs of students across the District.
Setting up a new provision is a challenge and the school was expected to have been opened in September 2014 but due to delays we have had interim arrangements for a year in temporary accommodation whilst continuing to place some students in a range of existing full time provisions with external providers and Independent Schools.
The past year in temporary sites at Pawson Street, MAPA and Valley View placed additional pressure on staff, students and parents but all worked together to create classroom environments that offered high expectations and support. We are all eager to develop the new school site situated at Anerley Street Vocational Centre to begin to build and create a new school community. For many of our students their enrolment at District PRU has been the first time where they have been given that vital ‘fresh start’ and been part of a school specifically designed to meet their needs.
I hope you will gain an insight into the quality of care and education we provide for all students, along with the range of exciting opportunities and experiences that are on offer to enable our students to develop into confident young adults.
At Bradford District PRU we provide specialist support for all of our students within a safe and secure environment. We are a caring and supportive school which has a clear sense of purpose to develop the students’ academic potential and increase respect, discipline and confidence so that all are able to be successful at their next stage.
All students are assessed on entry so that they have access to a highly personalised education package; their progress is carefully monitored and underpinned by all staff who work hard to make sure that every student is successful. Many of our students have missed key elements from their previous learning and once they have begun to re-engage with school structures we seek to narrow the gaps in their education specifically in English and numeracy. We offer a rigorous programme so that they have the opportunity to gain qualifications and prepare for a place at college, access to work or an apprenticeship.
Our students make rapid progress from entry to the school supported by a team of dedicated professionals’ that include expert practitioners from education as well as additional specialist staff who offer a range of services to enable students to engage with teaching and learning.
We are additionally assisted by the full range of other services available to support our students and their families with the continued support from Bradford Metropolitan District Council.
I am proud to lead a committed body of staff on the next part of the school’s development and have high expectations that we will work together in supporting the social and academic potential in all of our students.