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Reading: Young Offenders

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what information his Department holds on the reading age of people in young offender institutions; and if he will make a statement. (207503)

Data available to the Department on young people’s literacy levels in Young Offender Institutions (YOIs) has improved under the roll out of the Offender Learning and Skills Service.

Data from the Learning and Skills Council’s (2006-07) initial literacy assessments on young people (for young people placed by the Youth Justice Board into YOIs) is as follows:

1,367 young people were judged to be at Entry Level 1 or 2 (the reading age expected of five to seven-year-olds)

2,219 young offenders were judged to be at Entry Level 3 (the reading age expected of seven to 11-year-olds)

2,506 young offenders were judged to be at Level 1 Literacy (the reading age expected of 11 to 14-year-olds)

976 young offenders were judged to be at Level 2 Literacy (the reading age expected of 14 to 16-year-olds)

54 young offenders were judged to fall below Entry Level 1