PET’s response to the Education Select Committee report

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18 May 2022

Commenting on the findings of today’s report on prison education from the Education Select Committee, Francesca Cooney, Head of Policy at Prisoners’ Education Trust, said:

“Today’s report is a call for immediate action from the Ministry of Justice. Prison education has been underfunded for many years and is at the bottom of the class when providing outcomes for prisoner learners.

“The report rightly states that prison education is in a ‘perilous state due to a continual decline in funding’ and calls on the Ministry of Justice to set out a budget for the next ten years by the end of the year. Without significant investment in the prison estate, in buildings, classrooms, equipment, teachers and technology, prisoners will not be able to get the skills and qualification that they need to find employment and turn their lives around.

“The Committee also notes that people are leaving prison without the digital skills they need for employment and life skills. The digital divide between prisoners and the community is ever increasing and the Committee is clear that we cannot let that continue. We strongly support the call for the Government to set a date for prisons to provide restricted broadband and for prisoners who are studying to have in-cell access to security-approved laptops.”

About Prisoners’ Education Trust (PET):

At PET, we believe that education has the power to change the lives of people in prison, and that everyone should have the chance to study while there.

Working with prisons across England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, we fund courses in levels and subjects that are otherwise unavailable; support people to choose courses and progress with their learning; and champion the life-changing power of education to prisons, policymakers and the public.

We offer over 120 different distance learning courses, from business start-up to creative writing, GCSEs and A-levels, Open University Access modules, and everything in between. We help around 1,500 people each year to start their studies, equipping them with the skills and qualifications to build brighter futures.

For further information about PET, please contact Calum Walker, Media and Communications Manager, on 07824 189661 or email

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