An Assessment of the English and Maths Skills Levels of Prisoners in England

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The Centre for Education in the Criminal Justice System (CECJS) recognise that in order to design a coherent education system, it is necessary to have an informed understanding of the current educational levels of the cohort. Current information of the levels of literacy and numeracy of the prison population is both out of date and misleading1 which means that the education budget may not be being used to its best advantage.
Our overall aim is to set up a project to systematically collect data both nationally and at prison level and analyse it to gain an understanding of how the education levels of the prisoner cohort differs according to age, gender and prisoner category. This initial report is the start of that process and provides the first analysis of the mandatory assessment data collected by the education providers between August 2014 and July 2015.
The report outlines the methodology used to collect data, presents the data collected and discusses the findings together with an outline of how the project might develop. There is also an appendix providing further information about offender learning and adult basic skills education for the non-specialist reader.
This report has been conducted with the assistance and cooperation of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and the four OLASS 4 providers.

For the full document click here.