§ Mr. Carter-Jones
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria he used in deciding to make available funds in support of prisoners taking Open University courses, and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Mellor
Education makes an important contribution to the regimes of prison department establishments. The education needs of prisoners span the whole range of adult education, from basic remedial to university undergraduate and other forms of higher education. Open University courses form only a small part of the wider programme of education and training but, from the establishment of the university in 1970, have been regarded as the right distance learning method of554W meeting the educational needs of a minority of longer-term adult prisoners. The cost of Open University courses represents less than one half of one per cent. of the cost of prison education in England and Wales.