Leigh studied to be an English teacher in Australia and decided to make the leap over to the UK prior to settling into a full time job. He started teaching English and Humanities on a supply basis, before quickly learning PRU work was one of the most rewarding avenue’s that suited his values and teaching personality.

The challenges of working in a pupil-referral unit gave Leigh, and many other of our teachers, the support they needed with pupils in mainstream schools. Its a career that you not only learn about multiple individual needs within the classroom, but you learn a lot about yourself too!

Read below to find out why Leigh thrived off working within a PRU school.


‘I arrived in the UK more or less a fresh-faced graduate, looking for an adventure. After a couple of stints in mainstream education, I was offered a trial in a PRU school (Pupil Referral Unit). Not knowing much about it, but happy to give it a whirl, I showed up for my first day with an open mind. I would say this open mind and willingness to dive in headfirst were my best attributes. Being flexible in a PRU is essential, as you will often jump around a lot during the day. What was meant to be three days, turned into six months and it’s fair to say there were some ups and downs, but overall I loved the experience

A PRU is a place built solely around one thing, in my opinion – building relationships. Without relationships, you will struggle to impact students, who in a lot of cases come from extremely disadvantaged backgrounds. Forming positive & respectful relationships with them allows them to trust you and in-turn allows you to provide learning opportunities. There were days where I felt I was getting nowhere at all, but other days that were so very rewarding when there were leaps in progress from the students. There were setbacks along the way, and no day was ever the same, but the chance to make a real impact with students who were often bereft of support in other aspects of their lives was an amazing experience and one I would recommend to anyone.’


If you would like to discuss working in a PRU or to explore other opportunities that anzuk can offer, email Leigh here: leigh.d@anzuk.education