The Department published the White Paper “Back on Track” in May 2008 setting out proposals to transform the quality of alternative provision, including pupil referral units. At that time, we estimated a cost of around £15,000 a year for a full-time placement in a pupil referral unit. Pupil numbers in pupil referral units can be volatile and the calculation was based on pupil numbers at a fixed point in time. This may not be fully representative of the average number of pupils over a year.
We have not made any further estimates since that time, and the figure has not been broken down by local authority area. The figure is likely to vary considerably between different local authority areas.