Prison boosts GCSE grades

14th February 2003 at 00:00
THE boredom of life in a young offenders' institution drove two young burglars to GCSEsuccess. Each gained eight good grades after returning to their Lancashire school.

The secondary in Rossendale, which did not wish to be identified, has helped four pupils continue their studies while they served jail sentences over the past three years.

But staff were particularly impressed by the two Year 11 boys, sentenced to four and eight months at Stoke Heath young offenders' institution for their role in a burglary in 2000.

The school decided that both pupils should stay on its roll, and provided them with books, work-sheets, and mock exams. The boys' then deputy head said she had initially experienced frustrations persuading prison officers to pass on materials, but that the boys had studied enthusiastically.

Teachers prepared the boys' classmates for their return, and the teenagers were back at school just two days after being released.

The school has since had similar success with a girl who served a sentence in a women's prison and a boy who went to a young offenders' institution last year for an assault involving chemicals from a home-made bomb.

The former deputy head, who now works for a council's pupil reintegration service, said: "Ironically, most of those pupils probably got better grades because they were so bored during their sentences."

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