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Prison Education Programmes

Volume 691: debated on Tuesday 16 March 2021

Education helps prisoners to boost their employability, build their self-esteem, and make a law-abiding contribution to society post release. Since April 2019, we have invested more than £20 million in improving technology in prisons, including investing in infrastructure that will support educational delivery.

I thank the Minister for that answer. As he says, prison education programmes can be hugely beneficial, in terms of rehabilitation and preventing reoffending; future employability, life skills and literacy; or simply, as he says, boosting self-esteem. However, despite the figures that he mentions, there has been a dire lack of investment over the years. Can he tell us why the Government’s promised prison education service, which was in last year’s sentencing White Paper and, indeed, the Government’s 2019 manifesto, is completely absent from the Bill that we will vote on later today?

We do not need to legislate for that. We are absolutely committed to an enhanced prison education service, and I am pleased to be able to say that, in a prison close to the hon. Lady’s constituency, we are rolling out additional curriculum and neurodiversity specialists to drive reform. We absolutely believe in education and we are putting in the resources to ensure that it gets better every day.