Alternative Provision Service

Pupil Referral Units (PRU’s) are a type of school established and run by the Local Authority specifically for pupils who cannot attend a mainstream school.

Under Section 19 of the Education Act 1966, Local Authorities have a duty to provide suitable education for children of compulsory school age who cannot attend school because of illness or exclusion.

Established and managed as part of the continuum of support offered within St Helens Peoples’ Service two registered PRU’s are in operation within the borough.  These are St Helens PACE, which caters for Key Stage 1 & 2 pupils and Launchpad which caters for  Key Stage 3 & 4 pupils.

St Helens PACE is based in Derbyshire Hill Road and accepts pupils from all St Helens Primary schools initially for two weeks full time and then on a part time basis with the aim of reintegrating the pupil back to their mainstream school.  The pupils follow the National Curriculum.

Launchpad PRU bases are on two sites, Key Stage 3 at Derbyshire Hill Road and Key Stage 4 in College Street.  In addition Launchpad registered pupils may attend one or more of the 5 commissioned Alternative Learning Providers.

The Key Stage 3 base at Derbyshire Hill Road admits pupils from all St Helens secondary schools, initially for two weeks full time and then on a part time basis, with the aim of supporting the pupils back into mainstream where possible.  The pupils follow the National Curriculum.

The Key Stage 4 base at College Street accepts referrals from all St Helens secondary schools with the pupils generally spending two or three days in the base and the remainder of the week undertaking vocational based work with other commissioned Alternative Education Providers.

The pupils attending the Key Stage 4 base have the opportunity to undertake accredited courses including GCSEs.

The Alternative Provision Service encompasses the following 5 strands of provision:- 

Strand 1               KS1/2 PACE, Derbyshire Hill            

Strand 2               KS3 PRU base, Derbyshire Hill

Strand 3               KS4 PRU base, College Street

Strand 4               Alternative Education – based within 3 commissioned providers

Strand 5               Tuition Service, Beacon base – including Tuition outreach support

For help and information contact:  AdminAchievement&

In addition the Outreach Support Service  works closely with the strands of Alternative Provision and encompasses the following areas:-  

  • Behaviour Support
  • Traveller Education
  • English as Additional LanguageWe will encourage active engagement, enthusiasm and improved motivation so that the young people and families we support are enabled to improve their life skills, behaviour, emotional well being and achievement through access to a wide range of educational and social opportunities.
  • Staff within the service, have agreed a mission, values and principles statement to which all have agreed as a basis for the work they do.
  • The service provides young people with a continuum of support to maximise their full potential.


For more information about the Outreach Support Service click here


The purpose of the Local Offer is to enable parents and young people to see more clearly what services are available for children with special educational needs and disabilities in their area, and how to access them.

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