The Scottish Prison Service has already committed substantial resources to supporting the young people in HMYOI Polmont. In partnership with Education Scotland, the SPS is now working to ensure that those resources are being invested appropriately to support the changes that are needed to create the skills development and learning environment that is envisaged in the recent report by HM inspectorate of prisons for Scotland.
However, further funding has also been made available for additional posts in Polmont, including a project manager to work with both Polmont and Education Scotland to manage delivery of that ground-breaking work.
I was encouraged to learn that, on 8 May, Education Scotland and the Scottish Prison Service met various organisations, including colleges of further education, to discuss the process that will enable HMYOI Polmont to provide a secure and effective learning environment. What tangible steps have been taken to implement that new initiative, and what difference should the current young offenders be able to identify in the quality and scope of their education?
As Anne McTaggart mentioned, on 8 May Education Scotland held a workshop on the issues. On tangible benefits, Carnegie College continues to review and expand its on-going contract with Polmont. I hope that the current review of the curriculum that is on offer in the prison will ensure that we pick up issues around numeracy and literacy early, which are crucial to ensuring the life chances of prisoners when they come out of prison.