Coronavirus: Face-to-face teaching in prisons to stop

More than six out of 10 prison educators say that handwashing facilities are inadequate, UCU union study shows

Coronavirus: Stop face-to-face prison education, says UCU

The University and College Union (UCU) has welcomed a decision to suspend prison education as part of a wider prison lockdown. 

According to the UCU, Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) has now confirmed that all non-essential activities involving groups of people, including prison education, should be stopped with immediate effect.


News: AELP claims DfE 'happy for providers to go out of business'

Coronavirus: Unconditional offers 'paused' for two weeks

Opinion: What it feels like to close the college doors


Supporting learners

UCU said it would now work with HMPPS and prison education employers to look at other ways to support prisoners’ learning during the coronavirus crisis. The union also called on employers to provide guarantees to prison education staff that they would continue to be paid.

The announcement comes after news this morning that more than 60 per cent of prison education staff felt that handwashing facilities were inadequate.

According to new data published by the UCU, classrooms in prisons were not being cleaned between lessons and staff had to share pens and equipment with prisoners.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: "We are pleased that the government has listened to the concerns being raised and moved to stop all face-to-face education activity within prisons. The health and safety of staff and prisoners is paramount and it is right that we take every possible step to help stop the spread of this virus within the prison estate.

"UCU will work with HMPPS to look at other ways in which members can support prisoners to continue learning during this period. In the meantime, we are calling on prison education providers to give urgent reassurances to their staff that they will not lose out financially as a result of this decision."

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Kate Parker
Kate Parker
Kate Parker is a junior FE reporter
Find me on Twitter @KateeParker

Latest stories

video interview

WATCH: Tes Career Clinic two-minute tutorials

Are you looking for your dream teaching job? Then you need to watch our two-minute tutorial series. Grainne Hallahan shares her job hunting tips in the latest Tes Career Clinic series
Grainne Hallahan 7 Apr 2020