Kirstie Donnelly comment on Coates Review
Kirstie Donnelly MBE comment on Coates Review on prison education
18 May 2016
Kirstie Donnelly MBE – Managing Director City & Guilds, said: ‘I am pleased to see Dame Sally Coates publish her findings on the long overdue reform of prison education today and hope to see Government action to take many of these suggestions forward outlined today in the Queen’s Speech. Education can be crucial to breaking the cycle of crime and enabling offenders to move forward and contribute positively to society, reducing the economic and social costs of criminality.
‘It’s important to now turn our attention to how we actually implement and resource these recommendations in the real world. Four out of five prisons we work with have raised staffing as the main challenge to delivering high-quality education. The proposed ‘Teach First’ style scheme to train prison officers to teach is a step in the right direction, but won’t overcome the problem of a real shortage of qualified, experienced lecturers and teachers which is facing the prison service right now. Dame Sally’s proposed ‘threefold strategy to develop the teaching workforce’ and the focus on training and supporting existing staff is long overdue and something Ministers must prioritise in taking forwards.
‘Largely though we welcome the findings of the Coates Review and believe it contains some important ideas; including the recommendation to create a personalised education pathway for every prisoner and the call for greater support for digital learning, which of itself would help the teaching support issue. Technology can be a significant enabler for skills development in prisons. City & Guilds now looks forward to seeing the detail of the legislation response and to further clarification about what the new commissioning landscape will look like.’