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Education awards at Isle of Man Prison 29 March 2007

PRISONERS will receive certificates at a ceremony this evening (March 29) to recognise educational achievements.

Isle of Man College Principal Dr Ian Killip will present around 25 certificates to people at the prison. A further 15 will be sent to former prisoners who have completed their sentence.

Offenders have studied and passed GCSE maths, various A level units, basic maths and English, plus arts and computer qualifications. In addition, a number will receive certificates for achievements in Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE).

Education Manager Fiona Robinson has been developing the range of courses available to prisoners for five years, and has been based at the prison full-time for the past year.

She explained:

Education is accepted as the biggest single contributor to reducing the rates of re-offending. In the young offenders’ wing, only one out of the 15 currently in custody stayed at school until he was 16, so education opportunities in the prison are very important. The Isle of Man College is responsible for delivering education to offenders and the programme is expanding as we gear up to move to the new prison, where the facilities will enable prisoners to have increased access to a wider range of courses.’

It is hoped Dr Killip or other dignitaries will be invited to present certificates at the prison quarterly, to enable more students to receive recognition of their achievements prior to their release.

Home Affairs Minister Martyn Quayle MHK said:

‘I am very pleased that so many prisoners have been able to achieve these qualifications while in custody. The Department continues to support the prison’s education programme and we are optimistic the development of the new prison will enable us to expand the education opportunities and reduce the rate of re-offending.’

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