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IOE Blog


Expert opinion from IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society


Prison reform: has the revolution begun?

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 20 May 2016

Brian Creese. 
Wednesday was an exceptional day for all those involved in prison education. The Coates review, Unlocking Potential: a review of education in prison was published and prison reform took centre stage in the Queen’s Speech. After so many years of policy vacuum, apart from measures that served to ensure the inexorable rise of the numbers in prison, this was a momentous occasion. For many in the education world, it is ironic that the hero of the hour is none other than our former Department for Education nemesis, the new Justice Secretary Michael Gove.
But surely his major proposal is simply a rehashing of the academies programme for schools into an academies programme for prisons? If we didn’t like it then, why would we like it now?
This is a reasonable question, and the answer has to do with the starting point. Most local authority schools operate well and many very well. There are few very poor schools in (more…)