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Prison Education Select Committee response

20 May 2022

Responding to the Education Select Committee's report on prison education, David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “Prison education is one of the most powerful tools available in the justice system to support offenders and reduce reoffending. When it doesn’t work it’s the public who suffer as well as the offenders. AoC welcomes the renewed focus this report brings to the changes needed in the prison system to help prison education be the real opportunity for change that it should be.

“Colleges are crucial to the success of a reformed system. Our sector vision for prison education is for a properly funded service to bring it into line with general further education and apprenticeships, as set out in the Skills for Jobs white paper, to provide prisoners with education and training which prepares them for successful reintegration into society and the world of work.

“This must, however, recognise that prisoners have often been failed by education first time around – with 40% having been excluded from school and half with a reading age of 11 on entry to prison. As a second chance to re-engage with learning, prisoners have additional support needs that must be accounted for and funded properly."