Conservatives unveil Prison Education Service plans

Party also announces election pledges to increase hours worked by prisoners and to create workshops

Stephen Exley

Prison Education

The Conservatives have announced plans to create a dedicated Prison Education Service focused on work-based training and skills.

The policy is part of a programme of prison reform that the party says would “give better chances to offenders once they have been released, double the number of prisoners in employment six weeks after release and reduce reoffending”.

Under a Conservative government, the new Prison Education Service would oversee education and skills training across all jails. It would build upon the new prison education framework issued in April 2019 and “provide a new focus across the whole system on raising educational standards of all prisoners serving sentences in England and Wales”.

News: Labour pledges six years of free study for adults

More: Lib Dems pledge £10,000 adult education 'skills wallet'

Background: The Lifelong Learning Commission – key findings

Prison Education Service: the details

The Conservatives would also:

  • Increase the hours worked by prisoners and give them the opportunity to develop new skills‍.
  • Create more prison workshops in which skills training could take place.
  • Hire a “work coach” for every prison to provide support from an early stage of an offender’s sentence through to the point of release. This would include CV support, as well as opportunities to develop skills and links to employers in the community.

The prison policy follows the news announced last week that the party would invest £1.8 billion in a college rebuilding programme.

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Stephen Exley

Stephen Exley

Stephen Exley is a freelance writer, director of external affairs at Villiers Park Educational Trust and former FE editor at Tes.

Find me on Twitter @stephenexley

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