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Revamp of educational facilities at YOI on Portland
1:00pm Friday 20th September 2013 in News
INMATES, teachers and staff joined in a celebration to open a new learning facility at the YOI on Portland.
The Young Offenders Institution has been working with education provider Weston College, from Somerset, for the past 12 months to revamp its educational facility for inmates and create a new learning environment.
The aim is to provide a wide range of subjects that will lead to qualifications and jobs when the young men leave the YOI.
The building underwent a revamp and now features classrooms for IT, cooking, arts and other subjects – a far cry from the old facility where water leaked in when it rained.
Russ Trent, governor of the YOI, Dr Paul Phillips, who is principal and chief executive of Weston College and South Dorset MP Richard Drax were among the dignitaries at the ceremony.
Mr Trent said that the educational facility heralded a new era in the life of the YOI.
He said: “I’m pleased to have had the capital investment to allow us to open a new facility to deliver high-quality education that will lead to employment.”
He added that the secure college facility would provide education for the prisoners of Dorset and the south west to the standard that would be expected out in the community.
Dr Phillips said it was all about getting prisoners qualifications that would lead to real jobs once they left the YOI.
He said they were delighted with the new learning area and said that another prison educational facility they were involved with had just received a glowing report from Ofsted.
He said: “The teaching and learning has been described as outstanding by Ofsted and we are confident we can replicate that here.”
As part of the opening ceremony, learners already using the facilities were given certificates in a range of subjects including sport, work skills, cooking, maths and art and design.
A ribbon was then cut by Dr Phillips and the governor declared the education facility officially open.
South Dorset MP Richard Drax was at the event.
He said he was very supportive of the scheme.
He said: “The aim is to prepare the prisoners better for life outside and cut reoffending at the same time.”
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