A4e to stop delivering education in London prisons

13 Aug 2014

In response to A4e's decision to stop delivering education provision in London's prisons, PET is concerned about the impact on teachers and as a result, the rehabilitation of prisoners.

Stock image of prison classroom

Rod Clark, Chief Executive, PET, said:

“This announcement shows just how tough it is delivering services in England’s jails. The delivery of education for prisoners across the country is being seriously affected by overcrowding and staff shortages which are leaving people locked up for longer, so they can’t get to class and providers struggle to meet their targets. These pressures are having a negative impact on safety and rehabilitation, as highlighted only this morning by the Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick. It may be that this latest decision by A4e to stop working in London’s prisons is a result of these problems.

“As an organisation that works closely with education staff, PET sympathises with the many dedicated tutors in London prisons striving to help prisoners change their lives through learning. Many of them switched employers when the contract was taken over two years ago and now again, they will face further uncertainty and upheaval. A survey of prison teachers by the University College Union (UCU) last year highlighted the distress this causes.

“Our work proves categorically that education reduces reoffending on release but to benefit from rehabilitation, learners need to be able to go to classes, and receive a good quality and consistent education from teachers who feel confident in their work. It is in all our interests that this vital service continues to function and deliver as well as possible over the transition.”