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Ofsted head champions new prison education approach at Unlocked Graduates event

++ Unlocked Graduates encouraged to lead reform of prison education ++

Matthew Coffey, Ofsted’s deputy chief inspector, used his speech today at the Unlocked Graduate’s Summer Institute to call for radical improvements to prison education. Speaking in Ipswich, where over 100 prospective prison officers are currently being training as part of the Unlocked Graduates programme, he argued that current standards often fall short of what employers expect.

Natasha Porter, CEO of Unlocked Graduates, commented:

“It was a great privilege to have Matthew come to Ipswich to discuss prison education directly with our new cohort of prison officers. All of our officers have been selected for their ability to inspire and lead prison reform, and we can never be complacent about standards within the prison system. There is no doubt that prison officers are crucial to leading rehabilitation in prison, and they can do much to advocate for education as part of that. And it’s very fitting that Matthew raised his concerns at an Unlocked Graduates event, since our programme was a direct recommendation of the Coates review of prison education.”

Matthew Coffey commented:

“Perhaps more importantly than what politicians can do, or government agencies like us, change also needs to come from the bottom up. Initiatives like the Unlocked Graduates programme have an important role to play in changing how we think about prisons and prisoners. I have no doubt that for the graduates joining the programme this year and starting their placements as prison officers there will be challenges aplenty. But hopefully lots of reward as well.”

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