Ofted reports that HMP Doncaster has made ‘Significant Progress’
In late July 2021, Ofsted inspectors visited HMP Doncaster as part of a standalone progress monitoring visit, with the aim of informing prisoners, employers and government on how establishments are meeting the education and skills needs of all prisoners and how leaders are planning to re-instate a full education, skills and work curriculum post-pandemic.
Their report asked, “What progress are leaders making towards ensuring that staff teach a full curriculum and provide support to meet prisoners’ needs, including the provision of remote learning?” Ofsted reported “Significant Progress”, which is the highest rating given by Ofsted in this type of inspection.
Ofsted highlighted several positive findings, including a high number of prisoners engaging with education, skills and work activities during the pandemic along with prisoners being able to continue to work towards accredited qualifications. Ofsted also noted that mentoring programmes and qualifications such as first aid and customer service were also continuing during the pandemic.
Ofsted were also impressed by the speed that Doncaster’s education department and the prison’s adapting to the initial COVID-19 restrictions in the prison:
“Managers responded to the first period of COVID-19 restrictions by quickly providing prisoners with learning packs, initially for English and mathematics, and later for some vocational subjects. These were of reasonable quality, and teachers provided individual support to learners, enabling 423 prisoners to achieve qualifications.”