HC Deb 14 January 1998 vol 304 cc218-9W
Mr. Allan

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what minimum educational qualifications are required of new recruits for training as prison officers in(a) the Prison Service and (b) each of the contractually managed prisons operated by the private sector; and if he will make a statement. [21572]

Ms Quin

Since 2 September 1997, the minimum educational requirement for prison officer entry to the Prison Service is a minimum of five subjects in GCSE, grades A*-C, including English, Mathematics, or their equivalent.

For each of the four companies running prisons under contracts let or extended prior to 2 September 1997, the requirement is as follows:

  • Group 4 (Altcourse, Buckley Hall and Wolds)
  • No pre-qualifications.
  • Premier Prison Service (Doncaster and Lowdham Grange)
  • Pre-qualifications of 5 GCSE passes, including English and Mathematics, at level A-E.
  • 219
  • Securicor (Parc)
  • No pre-qualifications.
  • UKDS (Blakenhurst)
  • No pre-qualifications.

However, invitations to tender issued by the Prison Service after 2 September 1997 for prison contracts, or extensions of existing contracts (including Blakenhurst) after that date, require the same minimum educational qualifications for prisoner custody officers as have been introduced for prison officers.