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Nacro has reiterated the vital role quality education plays in the rehabilitation of offenders, following a speech yesterday by the new Ofsted National Director for Further Education and Skills, Matthew Coffey, highlighting recent findings that showed no prison achieved an outstanding rating for its education and training provision.

Speaking after the Ofsted event at Wormwood Scrubs Prison, Paul McDowell, Nacro Chief Executive, said:

“Providing quality education, skills and work based opportunities for offenders, is critical to reducing reoffending.

“Through our own rehabilitation work in prison and communities, Nacro sees first hand the low levels of literacy and numeracy among offenders. Many offenders we work with have learning disabilities as well as cognitive disabilities such as dyslexia. These conditions are high among the prison population and effective steps need to be taken to address them by providing specialist, quality learning for adults and young people in custody.

“In addition, Nacro is calling for better coordination of services when people leave prison. Too often courses started in prison stop because when someone leaves custody there is a failure to ensure education and training continue in the local community. This has to change.

“Along with this it remains crucial to intervene early, before a would-be offender actually descends into crime. Greater engagement between schools and specialist providers like Nacro is vital so young people on the cusp of trouble can have their educational needs addressed before it’s too late.”