I am very pleased to have received this reply from the Prime Minister, following my letter on better support for prisoner education and an increase in recognition on the link between special educational needs (SEN) and crime. I am glad that since my original letter to the Prime Minister, where I outlined the importance of SEN education and cutting crime, I have held promising talks in Number 10 with key advisors on this vital issue. I am also encouraged by the positive engagement shown by the Prime Minister in the form of this detailed response.
While the Prime Minister’s letter does not go quite as far as I would like, it is encouraging that he recognises the connection between prisoners and the support for students with SEND.
I think it is vitally important that all prisoners have a meeting with an educational psychologist and receive any diagnosis for learning conditions, in order for us to fully understand the large scale of the problem and of course to be able to tailor prison education to their needs. I will continue to work hard for this end goal. We must make sure that the education system supports all styles of learning and does not marginalise students who ignore school and are more likely to turn to a life of crime.
This letter is a positive step and I hope that it elevates the importance of SEND and increased funding. I will continue my important work on the Education Select Committee on this subject and will endeavour to see action is taken over the coming months.