Ofsted highlights urgent need for prison education reform

2 Dec 2015

Ofsted’s Annual report, published 1.12.2015, is the latest indictment of standards of education in prison, which Prisoners’ Education Trust (PET) says highlights huge scope for improvements to be made.

The 2014-15 report shows the education outcomes have markedly declined since last year with 72% rated as ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ and yet again, prisons are the worst performing in the FE and skills sector.

Rod Clark, Chief Executive, Prisoners Education Trust, (PET) said:

“At PET, and in partnership with colleagues across the sector through the Prisoner Learning Alliance, we have long called for learning to be at the heart of prisons and this latest report highlights the increasing and urgent need for improvements to be made.

“We agree with Ofsted that there must be more accountability and leadership to achieve this and the government’s Coates Review provides a timely opportunity for new policies to reform learning in prison.

This is a chance for the government to enable more people to achieve their potential and change their lives through education and we would like to see Governors lead the way in this by creating a strong learning culture in prisons.

“And we know this can be done as Ofsted’s report highlights outstanding practice, for example at HMP Hollesley Bay, where staff are praised for leadership, providing a wide range of programmes and working in partnership with the local community.”

Editor’s Notes:

Read PET and Prisoner Learning Alliance (PLA)’s response to the Coates Review of prison education http://www.prisonerseducation.org.uk/policy-responses

Case studies and interviews with former prisoners whose lives have been transformed by education are available on request.

For interviews, photos or further information please contact Susannah Henty, Media Manager: Susannah@prisonerseducation.org.uk; 020 3752 5676 or visit www.prisonerseducation.org.uk

Sources

Ofsted’s report:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/480959/Ofsted_annual_report_education_and_skills.pdf

About Us

Since 1989, Prisoners’ Education Trust (PET) has supported prisoners to engage in rehabilitation through learning. The charity does this by providing advice and funding for approximately 2,000 people per year for distance learning courses in subjects and levels not generally available in prisons. PET also carries out research, informed by prisoner learners, to improve prison education policies.