All children are expected and enabled to engage in education, skills or work activities that promote personal development and employability. There are sufficient, suitable education, skills and work places to meet the needs of the population and provision is of a good standard.

In England, this part of the inspection will be conducted by Ofsted. To ensure that establishments are held accountable to the same standard of performance as schools and colleges in the community, we have chosen to explicitly adopt Ofsted’s common inspection framework, which explains the different style of this section of Expectations. For establishments in Wales, see expectation 66. For establishments in Northern Ireland, which we inspect only by invitation, we will use the Education and Training Inspectorate Northern Ireland’s inspection and self-evaluation framework, which can be found here and is reproduced here.

65.1 The leadership and management of education, skills and work activities effectively improves outcomes for children.

In addition to the evaluation criteria set out in Ofsted’s Handbook for the inspection of learning, skills and work activities in prisons and young offender institutions, inspectors will also consider the following indicators.

  • Information collected on the existing skills and knowledge needs of the children informs the provision of education, skills and work-related activities. Staff have appropriate qualifications and expertise, and can access specialist support such as speech and language therapy, dyslexia and autistic spectrum services.
  • Staff have an appropriate understanding of mental health issues and their impact on children’s attitudes, ability and readiness to learn.
  • There are no significant variations in the progress and achievement of different groups of children, including those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, and/or recognised special education needs, or those in different locations, for example health care or care and separation.
  • Leaders and managers prepare children for successful life in modern Britain and promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different backgrounds, faiths and beliefs.
  • Leaders and managers prepare children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities to become more independent in their everyday life.
  • The effectiveness of safeguarding practice in education, learning and work activities includes the prevention of radicalisation of children.
  • Teaching staff have access to the necessary information to understand how broader issues such as family, relationships and well-being (including mental health) currently affect individual children and impact on their learning.
  • Facilities and resources meet the diverse learning needs of children and provide safe and effective support for learning and development.
  • Children have access to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum that includes education, an introduction to the world of work through pre-vocational training and work-related learning, and the promotion of their personal and social development.
  • The requirements of the national curriculum are adapted appropriately when planning provision for children under school leaving age. Children under school leaving age receive their statutory entitlement of education and learning and skills activities.
  • Classes are rarely cancelled but if they are, children are told why. Any cancellation is robustly monitored and appropriate action is taken to ensure classes are not cancelled again. When a class is cancelled, teaching staff deploy contingency plans to allow children to catch up with their work and to continue making progress with their learning.
  • Children behave well and poor behaviour is responded to quickly and managed effectively. Children are only returned to their residential units if their behaviour becomes too disruptive to manage and repeated returns are investigated for underlying causes.
  • Exclusions from education are monitored robustly and used only as a last resort. Leaders, managers and staff do not use separation as their main behaviour management strategy.
  • Children who are excluded have a clear and timely plan for their full reintegration. During the period of their exclusion they are provided with high quality learning opportunities that are sufficient to occupy them throughout the day.
  • Children who refuse to attend education and learning and skills activities are actively monitored. They have a clear and timely multidisciplinary plan which addresses their difficulties and works towards a return to their learning and skills programme at the earliest opportunity.
  • Children are encouraged and supported to continue appropriate learning programmes when released or transferred to other establishments. When transferred or released, an accurate record of the child’s learning needs, progress and achievements is sent promptly to the receiving establishment or education, training and employment provider.
  • All children leave custody with finalised arrangements for their education, work or training. There is a good liaison between the establishment and education, training and employment provider to organise ‘start up’ arrangements and other practical aspects of transition and allow children to begin their education, training and employment placement without delay.
  • Links with community youth offending teams (YOTs) and home-based careers advice services enable children to continue to receive appropriate services.

65.2. Children benefit from good quality teaching, learning and assessment.

In addition to the evaluation criteria set out in Ofsted’s Handbook for the inspection of learning, skills and work activities in prisons and young offender institutions, inspectors will also consider the following indicators.

  • Individual needs are identified promptly and accurately. From the start of the sentence they take into account children’s previous educational attainment and any barriers to successful learning they may have experienced previously.
  • Information regarding children’s individual needs, including their abilities in oral language, literacy and numeracy and any special educational needs, is used effectively to inform planning of teaching and learning. Information about children’s needs and abilities is shared appropriately with all staff who need to know, including residential staff.
  • Children are occupied in education and learning and skills activities that provide challenge and inspiration, and enhance their confidence and self-esteem.
  • Children’s lack of progress triggers more in-depth assessment of their underlying skills.
  • The contents of learning plans are properly coordinated with any other existing plans involving the children.
  • Children are involved in setting, reviewing and monitoring their progress towards the achievement of clearly defined individual learning goals. Where relevant, individual learning goals are underpinned by appropriate personal and social development targets.
  • The views of children form an effective part of the review and future planning of provision.
  • Education staff attend all training planning and remand management meetings and make a significant contribution to training or remand plans.
  • Children have appropriate access to a range of additional learning resources. Children not on normal location, for example in care and separation and health care, are provided for.
  • Education and achievement records and assessments are transferred effectively and efficiently to the onward responsible body.

65.3. Provision successfully promotes positive personal development and behaviour.

In addition to the evaluation criteria set out in Ofsted’s Handbook for the inspection of learning, skills and work activities in prisons and young offender institutions, inspectors will also consider the following indicators.

  • Children are encouraged to develop their research and independent learning skills, including the development of their digital skills, through supervised use of the internet.

65.4. Outcomes and achievements for children engaged in education, skills and work show substantial and sustained progress.

In addition to the evaluation criteria set out in Ofsted’s Handbook for the inspection of learning, skills and work activities in prisons and young offender institutions, inspectors will also consider the following indicators.

  • Children enjoy their learning and make good progress relative to their prior attainment, especially in the key areas of literacy and numeracy.
  • Children achieve learning goals and/or qualifications, as appropriate, which are sufficiently challenging, support their personal and social development and enable them to progress to further education, training or employment.
  • Where appropriate, children meet the targets in their sentence plans to support a positive rehabilitation and minimise their chances of reoffending.
  • Children have equal opportunities to access education and learning and skills.

Human rights standards

Education, skills and work activities
In relation to expectations 65 and 66: The right of each child to education is recognised in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (see CRC 28 and 29). Children must be provided with education and vocational training that meet their individual needs (assessed on arrival and on an ongoing basis) and aspirations by properly qualified staff. Consideration must be given to ensuring that children are able to carry on with their education and training on release (see ERJO 50, 62.6, 76–77; 102.1; CPT 107, 109–110; HR 38–40, 42–43, 81, 84–85; EPR 28, 106; CRPD 27).

See also human rights standards in relation to expectations 59–64 and standards relating to equality and diversity.