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Prisons education: evidence to Ofsted

UCU report summarising research findings which we submitted to the Ofsted review of prison education.

UCU found that issues such as inadequate assessments when prisoners enter prison, not enough different levels of education for prisoners, unsuitable learning space and facilities, inadequate resources, inflexible curricula and insufficient time for teachers to plan and prepare for lessons, are interlinked and as such, will require a strategic approach to resolve.

These issues have a detrimental impact on learners and teachers alike. However, going beyond the learning 'space', additional issues for educators themselves are their pay, their precarious employment contracts, their unsatisfactory CPD, their lack of career progression, the senior management structure and in some instances, their pension. We believe the current Prison Education Framework (PEF) commission model is failing learners and failing staff.

As one of our member describes it, 'It's a broken system within a broken system'.