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A4e must not be awarded new prison education contracts

23 March 2012

UCU says fresh revelations of potential fraud risk bringing offender learning into 'disrepute'

Responding to fresh revelations of potential fraud at welfare-to-work company A4e, UCU today called on the government not to award A4e new prison education contracts in London and the east of England.
The union said it was 'farcical' that A4e remained the government's preferred bidder for the £30m contracts at a time when it was subject to a criminal investigation.
UCU said that it would be writing to the further education minister, John Hayes, and warned that unless ministers excluded A4e immediately, they risked bringing offender learning into 'disrepute'.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'It seems farcical, especially in light of these new damaging revelations, that A4e is still the government's preferred bidder to run £30m prison education services in London and the east of England. A4e must be excluded immediately or offender learning risks being brought into disrepute.
'For the sake of learners and staff, ministers simply cannot afford to delay any further. They must intervene immediately to ensure the contracts are re-tendered.'
UCU members working in prison education will meet today to discuss the uncertainty caused by the investigation into A4e. The conference is expected to back UCU's call for A4e to be excluded from running the new contracts.
Last updated: 11 December 2015