A4e must be exluded from prison education contracts, say UCU

The University and College Union (UCU) say allowing A4e to deliver new prison education contracts will bring offender learning into ‘disrepute’.

The union will be writing to John Hayes MP, minister of state for further education, skills and lifelong learning, to recomend that the welfare-to-work provider be removed as the government’s preferred bidder.

The response follows fresh revelations, as reported today in The Independent, that A4e was aware of potential fraud and malpractice.

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the UCU, said: ‘It seems farcical, especially in light of these new damaging revelations, that A4e is still the government’s preferred bidder to run £30m prison education services in London and the east of England.

“A4e must be excluded immediately or offender learning risks being brought into disrepute.”

“For the sake of learners and staff, ministers simply cannot afford to delay any further,” Sally Hunt added.

“They must intervene immediately to ensure the contracts are re-tendered.”

Union members who work in prison education will meet today to discuss the investigation into A4e.

UCU say they expect members to back the call for A4e to be excluded from delivering any new contracts.

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