Unlocking potential – three years on

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16 May 2019

In May 2016, Dame Sally Coates published her influential review – Unlocking Potential, which set out a holistic vision for prison education. Following publication of the report, the government accepted the main recommendations in principle. However changes in government and administration meant that a detailed implementation plan was not published.

In this briefing, we outline progress on the main recommendations. Overall, our assessment is that fair progress has been made in some major areas. However, it is too soon to assess the effectiveness of the new funding arrangements and the new contracts that underpin them. It is hard to give a more positive assessment until further improvements have been realised for prisoner learners.

This is a pivotal moment for prison education and the reforms need to be supported by specialist training for staff and effective data management systems if they are going to deliver as hoped. A number of recommendations have not been implemented yet and we hope that these will now be reviewed.

Read the briefing here

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