Failing to train prisoners to read is ‘huge missed opportunity’


Without having the skill to study, unveiled prisoners will find it more challenging to make a successful return to society.

The joint report on jail schooling, posted right now, highlights the boundaries blocking prisoners from obtaining the help they have to have to understand how to go through or strengthen their reading abilities. It finds the looking through training on present in lots of of the prisons visited by the inspectorates was minimal at greatest.

The inspectorates uncovered that leaders’ concentration was on enrolling prisoners on programs aimed at getting qualifications, even even though up to 50% of the prisoner population could not examine effectively adequate to acquire component. As a final result, prisoners who will need the most guidance with schooling are mainly ignored.

The report finds that, in most prisons, the curriculum is not centered on reading through but on practising for exams. Prisoners are not inspired to delight in reading, to use their reading through abilities throughout their existence, or to read through complete books. A lot of personnel did not know how to teach looking through. This lack of suitable looking through education means that top quality guidance has been remaining to voluntary organisations or enthusiastic staff members customers.

In addition, prisons do not have systems in position to detect prisoners’ studying requires or monitor their development. In most of the prisons visited for the exploration, regimen phonics screening assessments were being not getting applied to discover the gaps in prisoners’ awareness and techniques, and data on prisoners’ mastering was not routinely shared with other prisons.

Today’s report also notes the advantages of prison libraries and how they can encourage prisoners to read. Sad to say, the use of libraries continues to be severely minimal due to simple constraints, these types of as personnel shortages and time clashes with prisoners’ operating hours or other education and learning classes.

In light of the results, Ofsted and HMI Prisons are calling for reading through education to be supplied as a distinctive section of the prison education programme. Governors really should guide an approach to get prisoners looking at for “pleasure, reason and rehabilitation”. This needs an formidable tactic to enhance prisoners’ reading capabilities, the use of jail libraries and far better programs to evaluate, keep an eye on and share data on prisoners’ studying capacity and development.

Ofsted Main Inspector, Amanda Spielman claimed:

This exploration shines a light on the looking at training that prisoners are obtaining, or in most conditions, the lack of it. There are some serious systemic difficulties, as very well as loads of poor follow. Minor progress has been designed in the priority of education and learning due to the fact the Coates Evaluate in 2016. I want Ofsted, with the prison company and wider governing administration leaders, to be element of the alternative to this huge and enduring dilemma.

HMI Prisons Chief Inspector, Charlie Taylor stated:

The failure to educate prisoners to read through or to lengthen the literacy of poor viewers is a substantial missed opportunity. It means numerous prisoners do not get the benefits of studying even though in jail. And it signifies that quite a few will fall short to master the essential abilities that will assist them to resettle, get function and make a achievements of their life when they are unveiled.

Ofsted and HMIP have prolonged been worried about the standards of training in prisons and specifically by the range of prisoners who are unable to browse. Final September, the inspectorates committed to carrying out a 12 months-extensive assessment of prison training, which involved this research into looking through in prisons.

For today’s report, inspectors carried out 6 investigate visits to prisons and done deep dives into studying, which incorporated observing English classes. Inspectors also interviewed leaders, instructors and prisoners engaged in education, visited the jail library and reviewed curriculum programs and evaluation knowledge.