Last week Ofsted published a blog where it outlined some of its findings from its recent focus on the quality of education in prisons with a particular focus on learners with learning difficulties and disabilities (LDD).
The focus follows on from the Education Select Committee’s report ‘Not just another brick in the wall’ which highlighted some of the significant challenges that prisoners with LDD can face when trying to access a programme of education while serving their sentence.
With over 30% of prisoners having learning difficulties and/or disabilities, Ofsted has noted that they are “particularly concerned about these prisoners. They can face challenges while in prison and after release, especially if they cannot read or write.”
Responding to publication of the blog Hilary Speight, Head of Quality Improvement at Novus, commented: “We welcome the review from Ofsted and the recognition of the work prison departments have been doing over recent years to support all learners. We are passionate about supporting all our learners and are pleased to see that Ofsted saw examples of good practice during their review
“We are confident that the majority of our learning support plans are of high quality for all learners, including those with LDD and this has been recognised via Ofsted visits and also via our internal annual support review process.
We look forward to continue working with our HMPPS colleagues to design and implement effective curriculums that give all learners opportunity develop new skills and knowledge to support them to help them achieve their long term goals.
Lesley Clark, Head of Product and Innovation at Novus added: “We welcome the focus on learners with LDD as we are acutely aware of the high proportion of our learners, who are neurodivergent or have identified LDD and so require additional support.
“We have already seen that collaborative working with HMPPS and the PEF providers has resulted in a consistent approach to identify learning needs so we are better placed to provide support for those learners and respond to their individual learning needs enabling them to make progress.
“We are pleased to see the review raises the profile of neurodiversity and LDD in Prison Education and look forward to continue to our collaboration with HMPPS colleagues to raise awareness and understanding of neurodiversity and LDD in prisons to support our learners achieve their ambitions.”