Prisoners: Learning Disability

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 14th February 2019.

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Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what information his Department holds on the rates of learning difficulties among the prison population.

Photo of Rory Stewart Rory Stewart The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Data on offender learning participation, and learner characteristics, is published by the Department for Education.

Data on learning difficulties and/or disabilities amongst those prisoners who engage in prison education is at: OLASS: participation and achievement by equality and diversity & English and maths level: 2010/2011 to 2017/18. Self-declared data on learning difficulties and/or disabilities gathered as part of the assessment of prisoners’ levels of maths and English on reception is at: OLASS English and maths assessments by ethnicity and learners with learning difficulties or disabilities: participation 2014/2015 to 2017/2018. The data consistently show that around one third of prisoners have a learning difficulty and/or disability.

In April 2016, the Department for Education published a breakdown of the type of learning difficulty and type of learning disability amongst prisoner learners for academic years 2011/12 to 2014/15. That data is at: Offender Learning breakdown by disability and learning difficulty 2011/12 to 2014/15.

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