Prison, a bar to studies?

19th June 1998 at 01:00
CHILDREN of prisoners face a "double punishment" according to a leading children's charity, Nadene Ghouri writes.

Save the Children claims children are effectively being punished for their parents' crimes. It is estimated that 125,000 children have a parent in jail.

A charity report says prisoners' children do not have any special rights. A child's needs are only considered in the case of a baby or unborn baby of a female prisoner and practically no research exists into the impact on a child's education of having a parent in jail.

The report says teachers are most likely to find out that a child's parent is in jail through gossip or local newspapers.

The charity is calling on the Government to include the issues facing prisoners' children in initial teacher training and in-service training for qualified teachers.

Spokeswoman Joanne Bailey said: "A parent's imprisonment can result in big changes in a child's life. Children may feel isolated, let down, ashamed, afraid to confide in their friends for fear of being teased or bullied - all of which can have an impact on their behaviour in class and their capacity to learn."

A London primary teacher who taught a child whose father was in jail said:

"We knew when he was visiting his dad because of his difficult behaviour in class. For us his visits lasted the whole week."

A teaching pack, "Working with children of prisoners - a resource for teachers", is available from Save the Children, 17 Grove Lane, London SE5 8RD, tel 0171 703 5400, price pound;7.50.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today