Prisoners: Disability and Special Educational Needs

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 16th September 2020.

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Photo of Sharon Hodgson Sharon Hodgson Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners in England and Wales have (a) dyslexia and other Specific Learning Difficulties, (b) speech and language difficulties and (c) other special educational needs and disabilities.

Photo of Sharon Hodgson Sharon Hodgson Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent estimate his Department has made of the level of undiagnosed (a) dyslexia, (b) other specific learning difficulties, (c) speech and language difficulties and (d) other special educational needs and disabilities in prisons.

Photo of Sharon Hodgson Sharon Hodgson Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to support prisoners with (a) dyslexia and other Specific Learning Difficulties, (b) speech and language difficulties and (c) other special educational needs and disabilities.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) is committed to meeting the needs of all vulnerable offenders, including those with learning disabilities, difficulties and speech, language and communication needs. All individuals who come into contact with the Criminal Justice System (CJS) need to be able to access the right support to help them engage with their sentence.

For those who go into learning and where screening indicates an issue, education suppliers assess them to ensure the right adaptations and support arrangements are put in place.

The available 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 available via the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fe-data-library-education-and-training

In addition, prison officer training covers disabilities and responding sensitively and appropriately to behaviours.

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