The Current State of Education in Prisons – Trends in Prisoner Outcomes, Progress Made Since the Coates Review and Implementing the White Paper
With almost half of the prison population estimated to have no school qualifications and 60% of offenders leaving prison with no identifiable education or employability outcomes, delegates will assess the current state of education and training provision available in the UK justice system, particularly in the context of at the time of Dame Sally’s review, Ofsted rated 27 prisons as requiring improvement. Delegates will also discuss how far the Government’s White Paper will go to address concerns, including how to implement a core common curriculum across the estate, the potential impact of a new Prison Service ‘Teach First’ Recruitment Scheme to attract skilled graduates to the sector, as well as how an annual league table of prison performance, alongside individual prisoner learning plans, might drive up standards. Delegates will also look at the role Ofsted, exam boards and others have in designing, improving and delivering prison education.
Education and Training: The Silver Bullet of Recidivism? – Rehabilitation, Reducing Reoffending and Reintegration into Society
Delegates will consider the role of education in the prison system, and how better education of prisoners can reduce reoffending rates, help reintegrate offenders back into their communities on release and improve employment outcomes for those with a criminal record. Delegates will hear about the recommendations from the recent House of Commons Work & Pensions Select Committee report on Support for ex-offenders, particularly assessing whether current employment and education programmes provide sufficient support to ensure ex-offenders can be reintegrated into the workplace and put them in good stead to find work opportunities on release. Sessions will also discuss how to change employer attitudes towards those with a criminal record, given that 50% of employers are unlikely to even consider offering an ex-offender a job, and assess whether reducing the National Insurance contributions of those employers actively employing former prisoners could be a successful incentive.
Making it Easier to Improve the Standard and Availability of Prisoner Education – Giving More Power to Governors, Creating Partnerships and the Role of Apprenticeships
Sessions will also look at how to improve upon existing education programmes being delivered in prisons, particularly through the creation and cultivation of partnerships with universities, colleges, local authorities and employers. Delegates will look at how data can be better utilised to identify labour market gaps in local areas surrounding prison estates so that Governors can choose to offer course better suited to their prison to help offenders into employment, as well as how the Release on Temporary License can be used to offer work placements within local businesses. Attendees will also consider how the probation service, Prison Work Coaches and National Careers Service advisors could better work together to offer more comprehensive advice and guidance to prisoners looking to further their education and employment opportunities. Sessions will also discuss the Government’s pledge, from April 2017, to give Governors more power and responsibility over the budgets and decisions for education provision once current contracts end and assess how this will allow for a more revitalised and tailored education system as well as how the new Prisoner Apprenticeships Pathway might work in practice.