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International Literacy Day

08 September 2016

International Literacy Day
Fifty years ago UNESCO officially proclaimed 8 September International Literacy Day. The day addresses current challenges and looks to innovative solutions to further boost literacy in the future.

Prospects works in 40 prisons delivering education and the National Careers Service In Custody. One in five prisoners report needing help with reading and writing or numeracy. Around two in five need help with education and improving work-related skills*.

In Feltham Young Offenders Institution, as in all education settings, there is an expectation to prioritise literacy and numeracy, ensuring all school-age learners achieve GCSE grade C or above in English and maths. In Feltham all colleagues take responsibility for improving literacy and numeracy, regardless of the subject they teach.

Here Feltham colleagues share their triumphs.

Greg’s** story

The most important change for Greg is that he can now send letters home.

Talking about his English skills Greg comments: “I feel like my handwriting has improved, along with my spelling and punctuation. This helps me when I write letters home. I have learnt to put a sentence together much better since I have come here. I can say things more formally and I don’t use as much street slang anymore.”

This improvement has made Greg feel differently about himself too: “It makes me feel good about myself.”

Greg continues: “When I finish a piece of work and Karen, my teacher, goes over it with me and I get most of it correct, I feel happy and proud of myself. This has helped me to be more confident in myself and be able to have better conversations with people.”

Greg has completed entry 3 functional skills and is working towards level 1.

* Prison Reform Trust, Prison: the facts, Bromley Briefings Summer 2015
** Not his real name.

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