"We asked what A4e was like as an employer and provider of offender learning. This is what they told us:
- 89.5 per cent employees would prefer to work for a college of further education.
- Over half (50.6 per cent) rate A4e as ‘Poor’ as a provider of quality offender learning.
- Over half (54.3 per cent) say offender learning has got worse since A4e won the contract."
"Asked if A4e should be awarded the contract for offender learning again an overwhelming 81.6 per cent said ‘NO’"
It also includes a number of quotes from employees, including:
“A4e do not appear to understand or care about what education should be for. In my opinion education should be about enabling offenders to further themselves as individuals. They seem to regard the contract as a business.”
Another complaint concerned the lack of training and development. In April this year the union asked the LSC to take notice of this in awarding the new contracts. By August it had become clear that FE colleges were withdrawing from the bidding process because they couldn't afford to deliver an adequate service, and the union was warning the LSC "that it risks putting quality and standards in prison education at risk if it hands out contracts to private providers." We'll see.