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Young Offender Institutions: Special Educational Needs

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 8 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the need for teaching support for teachers in young offender institutions who work with groups of young people with acute special educational needs. (203554)

An audit of education in secure accommodation carried out by the Youth Justice Board (YJB) in 2002 identified the need for special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCOs), and funding was obtained by the YJB to ensure that each young offenders institution has the support of a SENCO. This requirement is incorporated into the Offenders Learning Journey (Juvenile) which sets out the delivery of learning and skills services to young offenders in custody in England. The Learning and Skills Council is also currently undertaking a review process which will ascertain the level and range of educational need for offenders in each custodial and community setting, thus informing the range and types of provision to be commissioned. We expect the reviews to include an analysis of the level of need for learners with learning difficulties and disability. The Welsh Assembly government lead on education provision in the two YOIs in Wales and this is guided by the YJB's National Specification for Learning and Skills which advocates the use of SENCOs.