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Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Breaking Down Barriers: Prison Education – a Licence to Learn? Welcome 14 March 2007 Sally A Pilkington.

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Presentation on theme: "Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Breaking Down Barriers: Prison Education – a Licence to Learn? Welcome 14 March 2007 Sally A Pilkington."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Breaking Down Barriers: Prison Education – a Licence to Learn? Welcome 14 March 2007 Sally A Pilkington

2 14 March 2007 Introduction Case Study: Accessing Skills in Higher Education and Employment (ASHEE) Background: Prisons & Prison Education Background: ASHEE Delivery of ASHEE The Way Forward

3 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Accessing Skills in Higher Education & Employability (ASHEE) University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) - long established commitment to widening participation - Various Access routes open to non-traditional students In 2004 with funding from Aimhigher, Lancashire we created a bespoke course to be delivered in prisons Why?

4 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Socially Excluded Group HMPS serves the public by keeping in custody those committed by the courts. Our duty is to look after them with humanity and help them lead law-abiding and useful lives in custody & after release Protecting the public Punishing them by excluding them from the public Give purposeful activity during custody Prevent re-offending

5 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Why? ~ The Facts Present population 79,983 in England & Wales alone Projected to rise to 90,000 in in 5 crimes are committed by ex-offenders Each re-offender = £65,000 up to the point of imprisonment £37,500 per year in prison The total cost of recorded crime by ex prisoners is estimated at £11billion a year

6 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Why re-offend? Significant research shown connection between unemployment and crime Without work there is between 35% and 50% chance of re-offending 75% of those leaving custody have no jobs to go

7 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 The Problem Estimated that ½ of all prisoners do not have skills required for 96% of jobs Employers want recognised qualifications up to Level 2 50% of all prisoners have no qualifications at all More than have reading skills below the level of those expected of an 11 year old

8 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Not just offenders but… Source: HM Government (2006) Reducing Reoffending Through Skills & Employment: Next Steps

9 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Prison Education continued From 1993 contracted out on 5 year basis to FE colleges 2001 Prisoners Learning & Skills Unit (PLSU) 2003 Offender Learning & Skills Unit (OLSU) Our vision is that offenders according to need should have access to education and training both in prisons and in the community, which enables them to gain the skills and qualifications they need to hold down a job and have a positive role in society, and that the content and quality of learning programmes in prisons, and the qualifications to which these lead, are the same as comparable provision in the community. Source:DfES/PLSU (2003) Improving Offenders Learning and Skills Delivery Plan 2003/4 – 2004/5

10 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Curriculum by 2004 Provide accredited qualifications in key and basic skills up to Level 2, which would enhance their employability on release. All prisons had to provide a core curriculum which included: - An Initial Assessment- A National Record of Achievement - Basic Skills - Key Skills -English for Speakers of - Social & Life Skills other Languages- Generic Preparation For Work - ICT

11 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Prison Education 2004 Core curriculum, particularly Basic Skills a priority Other courses & qualifications include: - Art and Craft - Business Studies - GCSEs, A Levels - Degree Level Courses* - NVQs & GNVQs in subjects such as - Painting & Decorating - Bricklaying - Hairdressing - Plumbing

12 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Higher Education Distance Learning available Payment - the prisoners private funds - via a third party, e.g. relatives or charity - prison materials budget - a combination of the above in which the Education Manager takes responsibility for payment Management of particular programmes within prison is the responsibility of the establishments themselves Secretary of State for Education & Skills (2004)

13 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Accessing Skills in Higher Education & Employability (ASHEE) to be delivered in prisons to by give offenders access - to gain skills and qualifications to secure employment - to be educated up to Level 2 - to have an introduction to HE and therefore - provide same as comparable provision in the community Level B University Certificate of Achievement - Carry certificate of employability skills - adds an additional level to Uclans portfolio of access provision - Guaranteed progression to subsequent HE access courses

14 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 ASHEE – Overall Aim Contribute to reduction of re offending - through enhancing employment skills - provide transferable skills - improve resettlement prospects - awareness of Higher Education - pathway to HE for a socially excluded group - widen participation Also - review employment & educational goals & - develop understanding of education, employment & career opportunities - develop social skills, confidence & motivation

15 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Delivery Initially funded for pilot delivery until the end of academic year 2004/2005 Success acquired additional funding Ran from May 2005 to October 2006 Each school 24 hours delivery Initially at HMP Kirkham (2 schools) HMP Preston (3 schools, 1 for vulnerable prisoners - VPs) Had to adjust content to suit the prison

16 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Institution & Student Profile Both male prisons - 21 years+ HMP Kirkham - category D prison Open - capacity 550 prisoners - Near end of sentences or short/medium term sentences - Training prison HMP Preston - category B prison Local - capacity 730 prisoners - remand prisoners and those awaiting sentence - awaiting allocation to prisons that suit their needs - short term, repeat offenders - high agenda on resettlement - one industrial workshop - IT centre of excellence

17 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Example – HMP Preston Average of 15 New Receptions per day 8 are sentenced to 12 months or under or on remand Average 228 per calendar month Over 8.5% of those interviewed have an interest in higher education Approximately 20 prisoners per month

18 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Barriers to Learning Individual constraints - Bad experience of education - Lack of confidence/own abilities - No awareness of content of HE - Non-employable with a criminal record - Education forced upon them - Peer pressure - Personal anxieties e.g. further charges - Low wages - No awareness of availability of HE in prison Criminogenic needs - housing - families - community

19 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Institutional Constraints KPTs (Key Performance Targets)* Basic Skills provision Lack of priority Low wages No continuity Lack of resources Funding required for HE Security issues - student numbers - restrictions - communication - marketing Lack of control

20 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 ASHEE ~ Delivery Students - 31 enrolled - educated to Levels 1 & for academic reasons - 6 employment skills - 5 for both Outcome - 13 with distinction - 9 with merits - 2 straight pass - 5 withdrawn - 2 failed

21 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Outcome continued… 10 university applications 4 currently on BA/BSc Foundation Entry Programme - UCLAN 3 Stage One of BA/BSc (Hons) degree - 1 = Psychology - UCLAN - 1 = Youth & Community Work – Manchester Met - 1 = Computing – Lancaster University One student awarded Ede & Ravenscroft Award for Academic Excellence 2006

22 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Current debate New Green Paper Reducing Re-Offending through Skills and Employment (December 2005) 5 year plan to further improve labour skills of offenders Engaging employers in the design & delivery of programmes Alliances with employers, targeting specific industrial sectors with labour shortages

23 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Itd be rather insulting of Government to suggest that all prisoners will want to be builders or painters or decorators. A large number of prisoners will want to study more academic rather than vocational - qualifications…Higher Education must not be lost in this process Steve Taylor – Forum on Prisoner Education (2005)

24 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Further Research Widen Participation further - providing awareness/engage/change attitudes/break down barriers Employability skills should not be emphasised to the extent that the wider benefits of learning are excluded Closer links with HEIs as well as employers Mentoring/support mechanisms In custody – Is education merely a distraction? Will change of environment affect future? Tracking Is the interest in HE still apparent on release? How many continue with studies?

25 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 To conclude Widening participation in higher education for offenders does work Essential addition to current education & skills provision Meeting individual needs of all prisoners Choice/comparability Develop awareness & benefits Providing other alternatives to crime on release

26 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Reducing Re-Offending through Skills and Employment: Next Steps Introducing new arrangements for higher education in April 2007 for offenders in custody. We intend to offer access to a broader range of opportunities with a variety of higher education providers* * HM Government 2006

27 Sally A Pilkington 14 March 2007 Questions?


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