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Prisons: Education

Volume 492: debated on Tuesday 12 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department spent on prisoner re-education in (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08. (273840)

In terms of money spent on education and training in prisons for those two years, £156 million was spent in financial year 2006-07 and £168 million was spent in financial year 2007-08, funded from the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills via provider contracts commissioned by the Learning and Skills Council. Spending on offender learning, commissioned by the Learning and Skills Council, now stands at over £175 million (2008-09 financial year), for juvenile, young and adult offenders—almost a threefold increase since 2001.

The Learning and Skills Council also spent a further £30 million in European Social Funding for the two calendar years 2006 and 2007, and established a £13.9 million budget from EQUAL funding for the period December 2006 to March 2008 to meet additional provision for offenders both in custody and in the community.

In addition training for prisoners is undertaken, mainly by Prison Service staff, whilst prisoners work or are engaged in various areas such as prison industries, catering, physical education, land based activities, industrial cleaning and laundries. The central costs of the training elements of these, mainly production functions, are not kept centrally.