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Portrait of Peter Cox, Novus Managing Director

The Education Select Committee report into prison education

The Education Select Committe has today published a report into prison education, noting the current issues and a number of key recommendations. Evidence given by Novus was highlighted in the report.

Commenting on the Education Committee’s report, Peter Cox, managing director of Novus, said: “This welcome report by the Education Committee highlights how prison education enables prisoners to develop the skills they need to change their lives, and the vital role it can play in reducing the £15 billion-a-year cost of reoffending to taxpayers.

“However it also exposes the host of structural, bureaucratic, financial and cultural factors which currently prevent prison education from achieving the biggest possible impact. The report builds on the Prisons Strategy White Paper in setting out practical steps to overcome these obstacles. At present, 57% of adult prisoners have literacy levels below those expected of an 11-year-old.

The report rightly spells out the need for greater investment in prison education if we are to help more prisoners to escape the cycle of reoffending. We support its pragmatic recommendations, which are consistent with the evidence Novus submitted to the Committee.

“As a national provider of prison education with a wealth of expertise developed through 30 years of working with the hardest-to-reach learners, Novus is well placed to support ministers and prison governors in achieving these goals. We are already active in engaging with employers such as Greene King, Kier and the Pret Foundation to offer routes from prison through to sustainable employment. In the last 12 months we have supported more than 1,400 prisoners into employment, education or training upon their release. And last year Novus invested £12.8 million in upgrading IT infrastructure across 43 prisons, with the aim of reducing the digital deficit of offenders. We are ready to play our part in building a Prison Education Service fit for the 21st century.”

To view the report in full, please click here.