College Hall Pupil Referral Unit consultation

Potential closure of College Hall Pupil Referral Unit

We want your feedback on our proposal to permanently close College Hall Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) at the end of this academic year.

The College Hall PRU management committee advised the Department for Education (DfE) in December 2023, that it considers the school is no longer financially viable.

Additionally, College Hall was deemed inadequate by Ofsted during its inspection in July 2023, citing poor outcomes for children and young people.

All those directly affected by the potential closure, including parents, carers, pupils and staff, have been contacted before this public consultation.

Our vision

Our vision for children and young people is they achieve their full potential in their early years, at school and in college and lead happy and fulfilled lives.

Have your say

We are running a public consultation on this proposal to get your feedback. 

The consultation will last 6 weeks. It will close on Wednesday 24 April 2024 at 5pm.

You can view the proposal under supporting documents on this page.

The survey should take you no longer than 10 minutes to complete.

Please share this survey and help anyone who is unable to access it online.

Take part in the College Hall PRU consultation

There will be 2 public consultation events:

  • when: Thursday 28 March 2024, at 10am and 5pm 
  • where: Open Learning Centre, Rectory Lane, Bracknell, RG12 7GR

You can collect a paper copy of the proposal and consultation survey from:

  • the council offices - Time Square, Market Street, Bracknell RG12 1JD  
  • College Hall PRU - West Road, off Old Wokingham Road, Wokingham RG40 3BT

We can provide a summary of the proposal:

  • in large print
  • in braille
  • on audio cassette

We can also provide copies in other languages.

To request any of these, you can contact us by:

Method of data collection

Our data has been collected from:

  • parents and carers
  • teachers and support staff
  • College Hall PRU management committee
  • headteachers in the borough
  • chairs of governors in the borough

We gathered input from these groups through a series of workshops, briefing sessions and meetings. 

We asked for their opinions on the main issues for College Hall PRU, including whether it is the right provision to meet the needs of children and young people in the borough and its financial viability going forward.

Consultation Process

The consultation process must follow statutory guidance

From Monday 11 March 2024 to Wednesday 24 April 2024 5pm, we will be consulting with interested parties on the proposal to close College Hall Pupil Referral Unit (PRU).  

A pre-publication consultation has already taken place with interested parties, including:

  • staff 
  • parents and carers of current College Hall students
  • headteachers
  • members of the Parent Carer Forum (PCF) 

However, you may also respond to the consultation on the published proposal, and we actively invite and encourage you to do so. We want to hear what you have to say, and we are actively listening. No recommendation or any decision will be made until all the consultation responses are analysed and considered. If you identify yourself, we may come back to you for more clarification. The council wants this to be an active and dynamic process of engagement with all who will be affected by the decision making.

There will be different ways to engage, including online and by post. If you need to request a paper copy, a different language or format, or if you have a disability or long-term condition and require a reasonable adjustment to communicate with us, let us know. Phone 01344 351720 or email

The proposal document

This is the statutory notice regarding the proposed closure. It is required by law. The proposal document provides:

  • information about reason for the proposed closure
  • what will happen to children and young people currently attending the school
  • timelines for deciding about the future of College Hall 

Reason for closure

The council is proposing to close College Hall because the College Hall management committee has determined that the school is no longer viable. 

This is due to the changes to funding related to the anticipated decrease. It follows the introduction of more robust oversight and management of dual-registered (children on roll at College Hall and the school they came from) intervention placements. 

In addition, the most recent inadequate Ofsted rating is a reason to propose the closure, but this is not the primary reason. Read the proposal document for more details on the reason for closure.

Impact of closure to children and young people 

The young people in year 11 will not be impacted by the closure to College Hall. 

For the remaining young people, the council will talk with the young people and their parents and carers to make sure they have access to education provision to meet their needs. This may include commissioning bespoke packages of education. Ideally all children will be in schools in Bracknell Forest. However, there may be occasion where a child needs to go outside of the local area to access education provision to meet their needs or be provided with another form of alternative provision.

Support for those affected

If the decision is made to close College Hall, the council and College Hall staff will work with young people and their parents and carers to support them in moving to a new provision. This will be determined through an individual approach, making sure there is a continuation of education and support tailored to each young person. 

All parents and carers of current College Hall pupils affected by this proposal were contacted during the pre-publication consultation period. The council will continue to work with parents and carers of the young people to understand their parental preferences and council officers are on hand to offer advice to parents and carers if the decision is made to close the school. 
For staff affected, there are workforce implications by closing College Hall. The College Hall management committee will continue to engage with staff to make sure that regular communication and updates are provided.

We understand that the consultation to close the school will be unsettling for staff. The council offers comprehensive employee support, and we encourage staff to make use of these resources and discuss any concerns with their manager. 

Resources are available at Vivup benefits employee support and through the education support website.

If the decision is made to close College Hall, the procedures for organisational change, redundancy and redeployment will be enacted. Every opportunity will be made to consider redeployment where opportunities across the education service allow. This would involve engagement with headteachers so relevant school-based opportunities could be considered.

PRU facility in Bracknell Forest

Section 19 of the Education Act 1996 requires councils to make suitable arrangements for children of compulsory school age who, because of exclusion, illness, or other reasons, would not receive suitable education without such provision. This duty does not have to be met by a PRU but can be met in a range of ways such as tutoring, whether at home or in a community setting.

The council has agreed funding to build a new local Social, Emotional, and Mental Health (SEMH) school that will meet the needs of young people who are in receipt of an education, health and care plan (EHCP). Headteachers have highlighted a need for education provision to support an increasing demand for children with SEMH needs in Bracknell Forest. SEMH schools are specifically equipped to provide tailored support for individuals facing social, emotional, and mental health challenges. They create an environment favourable to academic and personal development.

The specialist skills and targeted approach of a SEMH school are more likely to result in positive outcomes for children and young people who face challenges. The school will help with better integration of students into the local community, breaking down barriers and promoting inclusivity.

Plans for new schools

As part of the Department of Education Safety Valve Programme, the council submitted proposals which includes the development of 2 new special schools: 

  • a Social, Emotional and Mental Health Free School (see section above)
  • an Autism Free School

The council is also planning to build 2 new secondary school specialist resource provisions (SRPs). 

Supporting documents