Offenders 'have little chance of education'

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The Independent Online

Many teenagers in young offenders' institutions have a reading age of below seven and stand little chance of it being improved, according to research published on Tuesday.

A report by the Youth Justice Board revealed that more than one in three youngsters had a reading age of seven or younger. Their maths ability was even worse – with 50 per cent having the ability of an average seven-year-old or younger.

A separate report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons revealed that young offenders were taught by inexperienced staff and offered little vocational training.The Youth Justice Board said it had agreed a plan with the Home Office to spend £40m on helping to achieve a target of a minimum of 30 hours' education and training a week for young offenders within three years.

¿ The Government has reached its target for improving GCSE results a year ahead of target. Figures released yesterday, after checks by the examination boards, show 50 per cent of pupils obtained at least five A* to C-grade passes. Earlier this summer, they said the provisional figure was 49.8 per cent.