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Prison educators

Prison education - UCU evidence to Ofsted

10 March 2022

The frequent change and instability in the tendering/re-tendering process for prison education in England has meant that the issues of workforce planning and refreshing education infrastructure have not been properly addressed, as there has not been long-term accountability.

The process of commissioning education for profit has arguably diverted resources away from the development, design and delivery of truly meaningful education. Additionally, it has created a fragmented workforce who face many challenges, including unfavourable employment conditions.

Following OFSTED's inspection of education in 45 prisons in England UCU carried out surveys and focus groups with its prison education members, to seek out the 'drowned voices' and better understand the issues. We also carried out a joint members' survey with the Prisoner Learning Alliance (PLA), which led to the report, ' Hidden voices: the experience of teachers working in prisons [1mb]' (2021).

This paper summarises our research findings and is offered as a contribution to the OFSTED review of prison education:

Last updated: 10 March 2022