Learning & Work Institute

Citizen’s Curriculum and ESOL Screening (2016-2019)

Project Objectives

This project aimed to improve the identification of prisoners and ex-offenders with English as a second language so that they could be more rapidly signposted to the right support. The project also aimed to develop a bespoke curriculum focusing on civic capabilities to contribute to their successful rehabilitation.

Project Partners

Learning & Work Institute and De Montfort University

About the Project

This project produced two specific outputs:

  • The development of a language screening tool which can be used by non-professionals. When a prisoner arrives at a prison his/her level of English is often unclear. This needs to be appropriately assessed so that the prisoner can receive support in an appropriate way, and so that he/she can enrol in appropriate educational classes in prison. With the development of a simple language screening tool, any person who is welcoming a prisoner into a prison, be it a prison officer or a peer mentor, can easily make an assessment of the language level and the initial support needed. Find out more about the Screening Tool.
  • The development of a Citizens' Curriculum which integrates English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) learning with maths, financial, health, digital and civic capabilities. This gives prisoners an opportunity to spend their time in prison in a useful way which will help them build the skills they need, for successful resettlement. Find out more about the ESOL Tutor Resource pack.

Learning & Work Institute have already piloted the Citizens’ Curriculum with a number of different learning providers across England and is now, with the support of The Bell Foundation, planning to test its impact in prisons through research carried out in partnership with De Montfort University.