HMYOI Parc: A positive and caring culture but purposeful activity compromised by a period of transition

Read the report: HMYOI Parc

Parc YOI has consistently been the best performing in England and Wales, as this inspection and previous inspections show. At Parc, boys were treated well from the moment they arrived and the supportive relationships that staff had built with them meant that most problems or issues could be resolved informally. However, the number of children separated from their peers had increased, and the quality of education had deteriorated and was no longer good enough.

Charlie Taylor, HM Inspector of Prisons said:

“After an extended period of stable and successful leadership, the YOI was in a state of transition. A new director had been brought in to lead the prison as a whole, and a new head of the children’s unit had recently been appointed. This change was being managed well, with the supportive culture experienced by staff and children being maintained, and an excellent and innovative programme of enrichment activity. However, we were concerned to find that, for the first time, the quality of education was not good enough.”

Outcomes for young people against the inspectorate’s safety, care and resettlement healthy establishment tests remained good, but purposeful activity had deteriorated from good in 2022 to not sufficiently good at this inspection.

Oversight of children’s progress was not good enough and partnership arrangements and key stakeholders had been slow to support the successful transition of education providers. Parc also had no reading strategy and children who wanted to read could not search for and get a book of their choice, which was disappointing.

Estyn also judged that a more limited curriculum and weaknesses in the quality of teaching meant that the provision of education had declined, which undermined the overall assessment for purposeful activity. These concerns had been identified and partnership arrangements to support improvements in the quality of education provision were being developed.

Mr Taylor continued:

“Overall, HMYOI Parc continues to set a positive example for other YOIs, particularly in its positive culture, but we hope that the new director makes sure that the decline in purposeful activity is of short duration rather than being a sign of emerging fragility at an otherwise reliably positive establishment.”

Notes to editors

  1. Read the HMYOI Parc report, published on 23 January 2024.
  2. HMYOI Parc is a young offender institution (YOI) for boys aged between 15 and 17, located in the much larger Parc prison near Bridgend in South Wales. It can hold up to 46 boys on two separate units, although at the time of our inspection just 28 were in residence. Of these, about a third were aged 18, but they remained at the YOI due to national population pressures in the adult estate.
  3. This inspection took place between 9-19 October 2023.
  4. HM Inspectorate of Prisons is an independent inspectorate, inspecting places of detention to report on conditions and treatment and promote positive outcomes for those detained and the public.
  5. Please email if you would like more information.