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Novus responds to David Cameron’s announcement to reform the prison system

Novus, the largest social enterprise of its kind delivering education to offenders in over 100 sites across the country, welcomes Prime Minister David Cameron’s calls to reform the prison system and the opportunities this creates to further build on our work.

Peter Cox, Managing Director of Novus, said: “We welcome Mr Cameron’s announcement to give prison governors’ more autonomy and the opportunity this gives us to be more flexible in order to meet the specific needs of both prison and individual prisoners by delivering a more innovative curriculum.

“We agree that more reform is needed to reduce current re-offending rates which are too high. We are passionate about providing prison learners with the right level of education as it forms a key part of rehabilitation. Good education raises the expectations and aspirations of offenders, giving them the skills they need to find jobs. Educated prisoners are more likely to gain employment on release and this will help to tackle reoffending rates.

“Education and training that focusses on skills employers are looking for are key contributing factors in reducing the risk of re-offending. We work with companies such as Barclays Bank, Pret A Manger and DHL to determine the skills employers need, which enables us to deliver an employer-led curriculum with real job outcomes. Our goal is to make sure offenders understand that there are viable alternatives to offending.”

Novus delivers ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rated education provision in 3 out of 4 of the ‘Outstanding’ facilities in the country.* Novus leads the sector as a quality provider with over 83% of our provision graded good or outstanding by HMIP/Ofsted, which is the reverse of the sector.

Peter added: “For over 20 years we have been committed to quality provision. We work to enable our prisoners to recognise their potential. In fact our English and maths performance is above the national benchmark.

“We welcome the direction of the reforms and we await with interest the full publication of Dame Sally Coates' report for prison education.

“At Novus we want to build upon a twenty-first century education provision through our innovation in learning and commitment to raising standards.”

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