BRADFORD District’s Pupil Referral Unit, which was put in special measures almost two years ago, is making positive steps towards improvement, a recent Ofsted visit has found.

The PRU - for students unable to continue to access mainstream education - was rated inadequate in March 2017 by Ofsted inspectors and put in special measures.

But a recent visit to three of its sites - Anerley Street Vocational Centre, Keighley College and the Training & Skills Centre - has found “effective action” is being taken to get out of special measures, with the quality of teaching, learning and behaviour all improving.

The report also revealed Exceed Academies Trust has been chosen to take over the PRU, but has not taken over yet.

Inspectors said acting headteacher Jonathan Schofield is “determined and highly effective” and since September the school has improved “at a rapid pace”.

The report said: “The improvement in the quality of systems and procedures, underpinning the operation of the school, is striking.

“Due to the high quality of these new systems and procedures, school leaders now have an incisive understanding of the areas of strength at school and what needs to improve further.

“The focus on pupils’ ‘personalised development, re-engagement and informed choices’, as a basis for the curriculum, is having a positive impact on pupils’ motivation.

“Members of staff are knowledgeable about how to promote pupils’ welfare and safety. Any use of physical restraint is well managed.

“The acting headteacher leads by example and is bringing a sense of community to the school. The school is moving in the right direction.

“Relationships between pupils and members of staff are increasingly positive across the sites on which the school operates. As a result, pupils’ levels of focus is increasing.

“Pupils indicated that they are now increasingly aware that this is a ‘real school,’ these are ‘real qualifications’ and they know that they need to ‘settle down and work’. This is leading to a stronger commitment to school and better focus in lessons.”

There are still some areas of concern at the PRU, including low attendance rates of some students, inconsistencies in teaching and a lack of resilience in students.

The fixed-term exclusion rate was also noted to be too high, something inspectors said Mr Schofield is working to change.

Councillor Imran Khan, portfolio holder for education, employment and skills, said: “The latest monitoring visit report shows the decisive steps that have been taken to make the rapid improvement needed are starting to have an impact.

“This is good news for pupils, parents and staff. It is something on which the school can build so that pupils achieve the best outcomes possible.”