Written evidence submitted by Adel Beck Secure Children’s home



  1. What is the purpose of education in prisons

Whilst there is a statutory element to the provision of education in Secure Children’s Homes, there is also a fundamental symbiosis between successful learning gains and outcomes with successful transition and resettlement within the community, leading to lower rates of re-offending and increased levels pro-social identity on release. This is especially pertinent for young people in custody as they most often return to the community and environment in which they committed their offences. Prior to being in custody the overwhelming majority of young people admitted to Adel Beck have been disenfranchised from education provision either through permanent exclusion or by not having their educational needs met, which could be argued as being a contributory factor in their involvement in the crimes they have committed. 


  1. What data exist to demonstrate the effectiveness of education and training in prisons and on prisoner attainment, and what international comparisons are available?

At Adel Beck, we keep a vast array of academic and attitudinal progress data. Expected progress and attainment are measured against national age related progress and attainment data as well as expected progress for our organisation, which on average is three times that of mainstream provision.


‘Leaders have a robust and effective system for collecting and analysing a wide range of information and data relating to the progress and achievements of individual children and specific groups and acting to address any differences. Leaders and those responsible for governance, have an improved and accurate understanding about the quality of provision, the progress that the children make, and any actions required to improve education further.’


‘The staff have very high expectations of what children can achieve both academically and personally. The staff regularly assess the children’s progress against their individual learning and personal development targets that they meet. They provide the children with a clear understanding of what they have done well and what they need to do to improve. The children make significant progress in the subjects they take, based on their starting points. The staff are fully aware of the children’s individual circumstances and work sensitively with children to help them to make incremental improvements to their attitudes, behaviours and ability to engage in education.’ Ofsted January 2020



  1. How well are additional learning needs met by the prison education and youth custody systems, including SEND and language and communication needs?

Education staff baseline test every young person admitted to Adel Beck in every subject area they study. The results of these tests, alongside Speech and Language assessments and prior attainment information including EHCPs is considered when developing individual learning plans, so that every young person is provided with bespoke support that enables them to make the maximum learning gains and progress whilst in our care.

Over the last eighteen months, the SECURE STAIRS programme has been embedded into our standard operating procedures so that trauma informed practice can be incorporated into every young person’s unique learning plan. A key part of this is the formulation ‘my story’ that takes place within four weeks of admission. This provides education staff with practical psychologically aware guidance on how best to meet the needs of our young people. This has ensured young people settle in education and have their needs met in a timely and effective manner leading to rapid learning gains and accelerated progress.


‘The staff establish the children’s starting points and additional support needs quickly and accurately when they arrive at the home. Along with other information they receive from children’s previous placements, schools and placing local authorities, they develop highly personalised education and support arrangements for each child. The headteacher works relentlessly to hold the children’s home’s local authority to account for developing or reviewing existing education, health and care plans. Where required, the home ensures that it receives the pupil premium that children are entitled to for their complex education and support needs to be met.

The staff plan teaching activities very effectively to meet children’s needs and individual learning targets. Teachers and learning support staff work with a high degree of flexibility so that children’s personal circumstances and behaviours can be accommodated. Highly effective links with care and healthcare staff, including speech and language specialists, ensure that the staff carefully and thoroughly consider the individual approaches that work well for each child in their interactions with them.’ Ofsted January 2020  


  1. Does education in prisons deliver the skills needed by employers, and what more can be done to better align these?


‘The curriculum provides the children with a broad and well balanced mix of academic and vocational subjects which they enjoy participating in. The children can gain accredited qualifications in all the subjects they follow. In mathematics, English and science a few children who are able achieve GCSEs.

Learning takes place in well- equipped teaching rooms and practical workshops. Through vocational subjects such as motor vehicle technology, and hairdressing and barbering the children learn the importance of the work related attitudes that employers and commercial clients will expect and they demonstrate these well. In addition, the children participate in a wide range of enrichment activities such as the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.’ Ofsted January 2020


‘The children receive effective impartial careers advice and guidance to help them to make well informed choices about college courses or apprenticeships they could apply for.’ Ofsted January 2020


  1. How can successful participation in education be incentivised in prisons?


Whilst gaining points for participation and achievement in education is part of the centre wide GOAL scheme, (this enables young people to advance towards rewards and privileges), we have found success and programmes that develop self-worth are far more effective than any other incentive in securing positive engagement. We celebrate success formally weekly with assemblies and certification presentations. Annual parent/carer evenings are held to share success with families and promote positive self-image, alongside numerous creative and sporting events that provide young people opportunities to discover their strengths and be proud of themselves.


‘The staff are very sensitive to children s needs and treat them with respect. The children respond very well. Their attendance and punctuality are high and the behaviour of most is exemplary. When the children show signs that they may become disruptive, the staff manage this swiftly and sensitively so that the learning of other children is not disrupted. The children improve rapidly their understanding about the need to respect and tolerate the different views of other children and staff.’ Ofsted January 2020


j.             How does provision compare in public sector and privately run prisons?


Adel Beck’s education provision has been judged to be outstanding. This is based on an education inspection framework that whilst sitting within the Social Care Common Inspection Framework (SCCIF), is increasingly aligned to the Education Inspection Framework (EIF) used in all other education settings. 


k.            How effective and flexible is prison education and training in dealing with different lengths of sentences and the movement of prisoners across the estate?


Adel Beck is highly effective at accommodating and developing bespoke learning plans that meet the needs of all young people, regardless of need or length of stay. This is evidenced in our progress and attainment data that has been ratified by our Education Management Committee and Ofsted


January 2021