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Last reviewed on 12 August 2019
Ref: 6367
School types: All · School phases: All

Pupil referral units (PRUs) and alternative provisions (APs) aren't required to follow the National Curriculum, but they do have to provide a good alternative curriculum. Find out what this includes, and see examples of curriculum offers from other PRUs and APs.

The National Curriculum doesn't apply for APs and PRUs

This is explained in the DfE's guidance on alternative provision (pages 10 - 12). 

A DfE representative confirmed that PRUs aren't required to teach the National Curriculum.

AP settings need to provide a good alternative curriculum

Your curriculum must appropriately meet the needs of pupils and enable them to achieve good educational attainment on par with their mainstream peers.

This is set out in the DfE's guidance on alternative provision (linked to above).

The guidance explains that AP settings should offer challenging teaching in:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • IT 

PRUs must provide a 'broad and balanced' curriculum

The DfE representative explained that this should include:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Computing
  • Careers guidance

AP and PRU curriculum examples

Primary PRU

Buckinghamshire Primary PRU teach English and maths lessons daily, all other subjects are taught through termly themes or topics.

Pupils are encouraged to develop skills in:

  • ICT, problem solving and thinking
  • Social and behavioural learning
  • Personal and emotional learning

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