HC Deb 25 March 2003 vol 402 c151W
Mr. Gibb

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many teaching hours have been cancelled at Holloway Prison over the last 12 months owing to staff shortages. [103953]

Hilary Benn

The number of education hours cancelled at Holloway from February 2002 to January 2003 was 4,564.25 hours from a total ordered provision of 18,587.75 hours (approximately 25 per cent.). The loss of hours was due to a combination of staff shortages and operational requirements to staff hospital escorts, particularly bed-watches.

Although Holloway still suffers from staff shortages, a re-profiling exercise has been held resulting in a new staff profile of 220 officers to deliver an appropriate regime. At the end of December 2002, the shortfall of staff at Holloway was 46.5 officers, which had reduced to 37.5 on 19 March 2003. A further, 10 to 15 staff from the most recent recruitment campaign are expected to be in post by the end of May. It is anticipated that Holloway will have a near full complement by late summer 2003. With a full complement of staff, Holloway aims to deliver a full programme of education to women prisoners subject to daily operational requirements.