Bespoke maths skills sessions delivered to prisoners at HMP Chelmsford

Education / Thu 17th Aug 2023 at 08:55am

BESPOKE maths skills sessions are being delivered to prisoners at HMP Chelmsford, thanks to Essex County Council’s Multiply programme.  

Since April, the Essex Multiply team has been working with HMP Chelmsford to create a new course which helps prisoners improve their maths skills.

Working with HMP Chelmsford, course provider Colchester Institute has been able to develop a specially designed Multiply curriculum for the prisoners.

Aimed at using numbers both inside the prison and on release, the course is tailored to the needs of prisoners with a particular focus on money management.

Following a successful pilot involving two groups of inmates, the project has been added as a permanent addition to the prison’s learning programme.

This means many more prisoners will have the opportunity to improve their maths skills as part of a rolling programme through to March 2025, with a list of learners already signed up to participate. 

The council is delivering the Multiply programme over the next three years thanks to £7.9million from the Department for Education (DfE).

It will see 14,200 new opportunities created for Essex residents to improve their maths skills, also enabling local businesses to upskill their employees for free.

Councillor Tony Ball, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Education Excellence, Lifelong Learning and Employability, said: “Multiply is all about breaking down barriers to maths and showing adults how maths can be applied to everyday life. 

“Our programme is designed to create new opportunities for people to learn maths across Essex it’s not just about learning in classrooms. This innovative project will bring real benefits to the lives of prisoners, both whilst they are in prison and once they are released into the community.

“There have been many complexities and challenges to overcome to enable this project to be a success, but working closely with our partners we have developed a bespoke course which I’m pleased to say is drawing interest from prisoners who are excited to take part.”

Colchester Institute Principal and Chief Executive, Alison Andreas said: “We are very pleased to be one of Essex County Council’s delivery partners for the important Multiply project. This has enabled us to extend our current offer of courses for adults to new audiences including accessed through Job Centres, the NHS, voluntary and church organisations and now HMP Chelmsford. The learning is all applied to every-day situations in which numbers are important, like money management, shopping, energy conservation, wages, bills and benefits.”

Gemma Brockman, Head of Reducing Reoffending at HMP Chelmsford, said: “A high proportion of those entering HMP Chelmsford enter with an Entry 3 or below functional skill level for maths. 

“At HMP Chelmsford we recognise that maths not only underpins a variety of day-to-day life skills, such as paying bills, and managing finances but more broadly impacts things such as maintaining housing and promoting healthy family relationships, for example helping with homework. 

“We aim to provide those in our care the opportunity to build on these skills, increasing their confidence, ability and independence making a positive impact to their daily life and ultimately their resettlement planning.

“The Multiply course provides an excellent opportunity for prisoners to develop their maths skills in everyday scenarios, allowing them to directly relate their new skills to daily life, and offers an opportunity for an introduction to maths that can encourage enrolment on to a full maths qualification whilst at HMP Chelmsford.”

Find out more about the Multiply programme and sign up to a course on the Essex Opportunities website.

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1 Comment for Bespoke maths skills sessions delivered to prisoners at HMP Chelmsford:

2023-08-17 09:28:12

Divide original sentence by 2 and take off 20%.

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