LEARNING AND SKILLS FOR OFFENDERS IN WALES: TARGETS AND FUNDING 2004-05

PURPOSE This Probation Circular is primarily for the attention of NPS areas in Wales. It outlines and confirms the arrangements agreed for the delivery of learning and skills provision for offenders in Wales in 2004/05 and 2005/06. These arrangements complement those made in England between the DfES, the Offenders Learning and Skills Unit (OLSU), the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and the National Probation Service (NPS). ACTION Comments are invited from NPS areas in Wales on the two draft documents attached. Please address any comments to Roger Stevens at the Directorate (telephone 020 7217 8283 or e-mail roger.stevens@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk). SUMMARY Policy responsibility for learning and skills provision for offenders in the community in England transferred from the Home Office to the DfES from April 2004. The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) assumed responsibility for the planning and funding of education (Skills for Life) for offenders in the community in England. This Probation Circular outlines the arrangements that are to be implemented in Wales. RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS PC11/2004 – Basic Skills Monitoring PC12/2004 – Operational Guidance PC21/2004 – Learning and Skills provision for offenders in the community: Draft Policy Framework CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES Queries and/or advice on the attached can be obtained from: Laura Fairweather – 020 7217 0680/1 or laura.fairweather@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk Roger Stevens – 020 7217 8283 or roger.stevens@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Probation Circular
REFERENCE NO: 30/2004 ISSUE DATE: 27 May 2004 IMPLEMENTATION DATE: April 2004 EXPIRY DATE: April 2009 TO: Chairs of Probation Boards Chief Officers of Probation Secretaries of Probation Boards Regional Managers Regional What Works Managers CC: Board Treasurers AUTHORISED BY: Martin Copsey. Head of Community Reintegration ATTACHED: Appendix A (Draft Policy Framework for Wales) Appendix B (Draft Operational Guidance for Wales)

National Probation Directorate
Horseferry House, Dean Ryle Street, London, SW1P 2AW General Enquiries: 020 7217 0659 Fax: 020 7217 0660

Enforcement, rehabilitation and public protection

Background
The Social Exclusion Unit’s (SEU) report on reducing Re-offending in 2002 highlighted the role of education and training as a means of providing offenders with alternatives to crime. As part of a strategy to improve the quality and quantity of education and training available to offenders Ministers have sought to encourage a closer working relationship between the National Probation Service, the Offenders Learning and Skills Unit, The Learning and Skills Council and Education and Learning Wales (ELWa) at local and national level. Jane Davidson AM recently wrote to Paul Goggins and Ivan Lewis proposing interim arrangements for learning provision for offenders in Wales which have now been agreed by both Ministers. The proposals detail two levels of planning. At the all Wales level, the NPS will convene a steering group on which the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG), ELWa, the Basic Skills Agency (BSA) and others such as Jobcentre Plus will be represented. The role of this group will be to draw up an all Wales strategy and ensure that all organisations are working in partnership. At area level each NPS area in conjunction with other partners including Young People Partnerships will draw up a partnership delivery plan which will focus on local arrangements to meet the targets for basic skills.

Consideration
As this area of work is new to ELWa it has been agreed that the period up to August 2005 should be considered as a transition period. The implementation of a transition period will allow ELWa sufficient time to build the necessary partnerships as well as develop capacity, resources and expertise in order to take full responsibility for this work from August 2005. A memorandum of Understanding between NPS areas and ELWa will also be prepared which will detail the steps ELWa will be taking in order to ensure that they are ready to take responsibility for this work in August 2005. The completed local partnership plans will also aid this process as they detail how the area targets are to be met and what milestones are to be achieved in 2004/05. Basic skills targets for 2004-05 Basic skills targets for Wales in 2004/05 have now been agreed and are given below: NPS Area Dyfed Powys Gwent North Wales South Wales Total Starts 271 421 392 893 1,977 Qualifications 68 105 98 223 494

The targets are challenging and represent a substantial uplift on previous years. Whilst the targets ultimately remain the responsibility of the relevant NPS area, delivery will not be possible without sustained and consistent support from other partners such as ELWa, the BSA and the WAG. Funding Following agreement of the targets, funding for 2004-05 will comprise of £533k from the National Probation Directorate (for 2004-05) with a further £618K from an additional £10m, which will be made available for both 2004-05 and 2005-06. Both sums are ring fenced for use exclusively for the education and training of offenders and delivery of targets. The NPS funds will be paid direct to NPS areas with the additional SR02 funding streamed through the DfES. The date for the release on the additional SR02 funds is currently awaited from DfES but areas will be advised as soon as it is known. These arrangements have been implemented as ELWa would have considerable difficulty in establishing suitable arrangements to ensure that funding/learning is in place during 2004/05 as its new Planning and Funding System will not become operational until August 2005. The responsibility for learning provision will therefore remain with the four probation areas in Wales during the transition period.

PC30/2004 – Learning and Skills for Offenders in Wales: Targets and Funding 2004-05

Funding for 2004/05 has therefore been agreed as: NPS baseline funding £k Dyfed Powys Gwent North Wales South Wales TOTAL 79 108 109 237 533 Additional SR02 funding £k 84.8 131.7 122.5 279.0 618

The additional funds supplied from the SR02 settlement have been provided to increase capacity. As a result, to support delivery, NPS areas will have discretion to use some of these funds to engage with the Basic Skills Agency, HMPS and other key partners in building a robust infrastructure and strategy to increase capacity. This will help support the expansion of provision and will allow areas greater flexibility in working towards their targets. However, please note that these funds are targeted at enhancing provision and that capacity building should not endanger achievement of the individual area targets. Additionally, the NPS will be applying a performance link to the NPS ring fenced funding, which may lead to financial penalties if the targets for 2004- 05 are not met. Data Collection NPS areas in Wales will continue to submit a monthly return to the Directorate as has been done in the past. An additional copy of the data return should be copied to Ingrid Zammit (ingrid.Zammit@southwales.probation.gsx.gov.uk). The information from the NPS basic skills monthly return will be used to populate the NPS delivery plan report to Ministers and the NPS performance report which will subsequently be used to calculate the NPS performance link. For further information on data collection, contact Cara Sillett (020 7217 8811) or Ed Stradling (020 7 217 0758) at the Directorate. Draft Operational Guidance & Policy Framework The attached draft policy framework (Annex A) was included within the information packs issued to delegates attending the recent regional workshops in England. The policy framework sets out how partners will work together in practice and what is to be achieved over the period April 2004 to August 2005 and has been revised to reflect the needs of Wales. In particular it discusses the: • • • Challenge and potential benefits of change; Roles and responsibilities of key partners; and How the partnership will operate in practice.

The attached draft operational guidance (Annex B) sets out arrangements for 2004–05 and anticipates the arrangements required for 2005–06 and beyond. It sets out the policy, funding and planning arrangements for staff in local National Probation Service (NPS) areas and the role of Education and Learning Wales (ELWa). Staff should adhere to the principles set out in this guidance so that: • • • there is national consistency in the approach taken to partnership working minimum disruption is experienced by learners opportunities for offenders in the community to access educational provision are maximised.

Comments
Please send any comments on the attached documents to Roger Stevens at the Directorate by 18 June 2004. (telephone 020 7217 8283 or e- mail: roger.stevens@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk). PC30/2004 – Learning and Skills for Offenders in Wales: Targets and Funding 2004-05

Draft Policy Framework for Wales

Annex A

Foreword The provision of education to help offenders is a key part of the UK Government’s effort to rehabilitate offenders and reduce re-offending. Over the last five years there have been significant improvements in the educational achievements of offenders in prison. We now need to take further action to tackle the learning needs of offenders under supervision in the community. This draft policy framework sets out the basis for new partnerships in Wales to support the learning and skills of offenders in the community during the period April 2004 – August 2005. The work it describes will involve considerable change which calls for an investment in commitment, time and energy by everyone involved. This is an enormous challenge and we recognise that it is only with the efforts of those working directly with offenders that we will achieve the UK Government’s aims. This draft document is intended to pave the way for a policy framework which represents the aspirations of all key partners with an interest in improving the learning and skills of offenders in the community. We look forward to hearing your comments on this draft. Please address any comments to Roger Stevens at the Directorate (telephone 020 7217 8283, e-mail roger.stevens@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk) by Friday, 18 June 2004. The agreed document will then form the basis for the way forward on work with offenders in the community for the next 12 months.

NPS Areas

Welsh Assembly Government

ELWA

BSA

HM Prison Service

Jobcentre Plus

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Draft Policy Framework for Wales Our Vision Our vision is that offenders according to need should have access to education and training in the community which enables them to gain the skills and qualifications they need to provide alternatives to crime, get and keep appropriate employment, and play a positive role within their local community.

Introduction From April 2004 new arrangements will come into operation to support the improvements in the learning and skills of offenders in the community. These arrangements will cover offenders supervised by the probation service and those released from prison on licence in the community. The rationale for change is to ensure that offenders learning needs are handled as part of mainstream learning arrangements for all adults in England and Wales rather than as a distinct group. Therefore responsibility for offender learning will over an agreed period of time change from being a responsibility solely of the National Probation Service to one shared, in England, with the Learning and Skills Council, and in Wales, in due course, with ELWa. Responsibility for the strategy across England and Wales lies with the DfES Offenders Learning and Skills Unit who will bring partners together to develop future policies, review progress and support development to raise quality standards and help achieve targets. They will lead a joint strategy implementation group with the National Probation Directorate and the Learning and Skills Council in England. Wales will participate in this group as well as leading its own All Wales Basic Skills Strategy Group to develop partnership working and to promote consistency and good practice. This draft document is intended to pave the way for an agreed policy framework in Wales setting out how key partners will work together in practice and what we jointly seek to achieve over the period April 2004 - August 2005. In particular it discusses the: • • • challenge and potential benefits of change; roles and responsibilities of key partners; and how the partnership will operate in practice.

We are operating in the context of plans to transform the organisation of the criminal justice system so that fewer offenders re-offend and many more can go on to participate fully in society once their sentence has ended. In June 2004 a new National Offender Management Service (NOMS) will come into being with the aim of ensuring that the focus is firmly on managing offenders throughout their entire sentence. Prison and probation services will need to work much more closely together on a range of interventions to support rehabilitation.

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Draft Policy Framework for Wales This will prove crucial when, from 2006, new sentencing arrangements are introduced where many more short term offenders will serve sentences with custodial and community supervision components. Building on present arrangements, we will need to respond in due course to these changes by further improving coherence in the arrangements for learning and skills in prisons and those for offenders under supervision in the community. The Challenge In Wales in 2002-03 there were 12,000 offenders on supervision across the four probation areas: Gwent, South Wales, Dyfed-Powys and North Wales. Offenders under the supervision of the probation service include both offenders serving community sentences and those released from prison on licence, some of whom will have been able to gain literacy, language and numeracy skills qualifications in prison. They face a multitude of problems including a lack of stable accommodation, health problems, lack of family support, unemployment and a poor employment history, drug and alcohol abuse and mental health problems. Improving offenders basic skills so they can benefit from sustainable employment contributes significantly to reducing the level of re-offending. Around half of offenders screened by the NPS will have very poor basic skills, significantly higher than the estimated average 25% of the population in Wales with a similar learning need. In addition many offenders will have had a negative experience of education, resulting in truanting, exclusion and expulsion. Where this has occurred offenders feel dis-enfranchised from education with little or no enthusiasm or motivation to return to a school/educational or learning environment. This is particularly true of young adult offenders whose negative experience of school will be more vivid than adult offenders. National Probation Service case managers report that the biggest barrier to learning is the unwillingness of offenders to participate. But we also need to tackle institutional barriers which may impede offenders from learning to ensure that in Wales: • offenders are motivated and supported to learn, with learning presented to offenders primarily as a positive opportunity to improve themselves and as a route to achievement and self-efficacy – rather than as a punishment; special arrangements are made for ensuring that both Welsh language and English for Speakers of Other Languages needs are met in the course of our work; all partners with an interest are actively engaged, with everyone with a responsibility for offender learning, committed to working closely in partnership to a consistent agenda, to ensure that as many offenders as possible are helped to achieve a qualification during their sentence; innovative solutions are sought to manage offender learning and build the capacity and quality of learning provision by engaging community based learning providers to develop strategies in partnership with Welsh NPS Areas. 3

Draft Policy Framework for Wales The aim is to promote access and participation through well-organised and imaginative learning opportunities designed to meet learners needs; • building the learning infrastructure in Welsh NPS areas so they can give greater weight to literacy, language and numeracy skills as a significant part of supervision planning and offender management so that more time is created for learning during sentence; and support for offenders continues after sentence has ended so that more offenders can complete learning programmes and achieve a qualification and are encouraged to continue their learning journey.

Key partners in Wales The Welsh Assembly The Welsh Assembly’s vision is of a fully literate and numerate Wales; a place where no one lacks the basic skills most of us take for granted. The WAG Basic Skills Strategy, which is cradle to grave, set challenging targets for post 16 learners although it does not directly include offenders. The implementation of the Basic Skills Strategy in Wales is managed by the Basic Skills Agency. It is currently being evaluated and updated as it runs out in 2005. Work with offenders will feature more strongly as part of the strategy in future. The All Wales Basic Skills Strategy Group The All Wales Basic Skills Strategy Group will be responsible for developing a coherent strategy for offender learning in Wales. The Group is a partnership between NPS in Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government, ELWa, the Basic Skills Agency, HM Prison Service and Jobcentre Plus will be responsible for the development of a Welsh strategy and delivery plan as part of the Basic Skills Strategy in Wales, taking into account the need for a bilingual Wales and with 2004/5 designated a transitional period. Education and Learning, Wales (ELWA) is the organisation responsible for funding post 16 further and higher education. A key objective is to equip everyone aged 16 and over with essential skills to enable them to fulfil their potential in their work and in their community. Their remit now includes offenders as a discrete group deserving particular support in learning. The initial 18 months will serve as a transitional period during which arrangements would be made to facilitate the transfer of responsibility with the target of doing this by August 2005 to coincide with the introduction of ELWa’s new funding streams. The Basic Skills Agency (BSA) oversees the implementation of the Basic Skills Strategy in Wales which includes support for all socially excluded individuals to improve their learning and skills. The BSA has worked closely with probation areas in Wales by providing practical support through a BSA strategy funded National Support Project which ends in March 2004. Both ELWA and the BSA will support NPS Areas with completion of their Partnership Plans.

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Draft Policy Framework for Wales

The National Probation Service The National Probation Service is a law enforcement agency delivering community punishments, supervising and working with offenders within the terms set by the court or parole board in ways that help offenders to reduce their re-offending and better protects the public. Its responsibility relates to both England and Wales. Each year the NPS commences the supervision of some 180,000 offenders. The caseload on any given day is in excess of 200,000. Approximately 70% of offenders supervised will be on community sentences and 30% on licence supervision in the community following release from prison. The NPS have a number of Home Office targets set in order to achieve an outcome of a 5% reduction in the re-conviction rate of offenders subject to supervision by 2007. The NPS also has a key role to play in the rehabilitation of offenders and since 200203 its work in basic skills has contributed to that role, with NPS Areas predominately undertaking the delivery of basic skills provision in partnership with local providers and partnerships. The new arrangements for offender learning in the community The specific objectives of the partnership for April 2004-August 2005 are for Wales to: • foster an increase in demand for learning so that we increase significantly the number of offenders who start learning programmes and continue to develop support strategies so many more offenders complete the course; Build the capacity of learning provision so that we increase significantly the number of offenders gaining qualifications and more offenders progress to mainstream learning provision or employment; improve significantly quality assurance mechanisms so learning and skills for offenders matches the best mainstream learning and skills provision; and put in place solid and effective partnership arrangements as a basis for coherent and accountable planning and delivery arrangements nationally and locally.

• •

The focus of the partnership will be on adults aged 18 plus. Partners will also take account of Young People’s Partnership and young people’s entitlement of basic skills. The partnership will continue to work closely with the Youth Justice Board and their community based Youth Offending Teams who have responsibility for juvenile offenders up to 19 years of age to ensure there is continuity and coherence in support for this group too.

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Draft Policy Framework for Wales Funding and Targets A total of £17.9 million will be available for offenders under supervision in the community in England and Wales to achieve targets for 2004-05 of 32,000 starts and 8,000 qualifications. The arrangements for Wales funding and targets in 2004-05 are: • • for NPS Areas to achieve together 1,977 starts and 494 qualifications; for each NPS Area to draw up a Partnership Plan to meet the targets in consultation with the Basic Skills Agency and ELWa, then share plans with the All Wales Basic Skills Strategy Group. Plans will be signed off by NPD; Wales NPS Areas will be allocated up to £1.15m made up of up to £533,000 for screening and referral and infrastructure; and up to £618,000 for learning and skills programmes to plan and organise new learning and skills programmes for offenders in Wales so the targets are met; April 2004- August 2005 will serve as a transitional period in which to agree the basis for future and more permanent arrangements for the strategy in Wales – and where relevant, any local contractual and staffing arrangements which need to be put in place to meet new arrangements for 2005-06 (see below). The key aim for the transitional period is to ensure that there is sufficient quality learning provision to meet the targets and offenders learning needs.

Developing a strategy in Wales for 2005-06 The initial arrangements will operate from April 2004 – August 2005. Thereafter ELWa will take on lead responsibility for the planning and funding of learning provision in Wales as a key part of their remit, working in partnership with partner organisations through the All Wales Basic Skills Strategy Group. The appropriate level of funding will be disaggregated from NPS Areas for ELWa’s budget for learning in 2005-06. This should leave the NPS Areas with the sole responsibility, as they have in most England NPS Areas, for the screening and referral of offenders to learning provision. They will retain the appropriate level of funding for this purpose in 2005-06. The targets set out above are for April 2004-March 2005. NPS Areas and partners will be informed of targets and funding, for the period April 2005-August 2006 by the end of 2004.

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Draft Policy Framework for Wales Roles and responsibilities in developing the strategy The All Wales Basic Skills Strategy Group will: • Taking account of Ministers aims represented by the joint strategy group led by OLSU, provide strategic direction on future policy and programme development in Wales; review progress and identify and resolve cross-cutting issues which impact upon development; and provide advice to ministers and senior officials on the future development of the strategy in Wales; and in particular, by the end of 2004-05, draft a protocol between the partners setting out roles and responsibilities as part of the partnership.

• • •

The All Wales Basic Skills Strategy Group will be jointly accountable to ministers Jane Davidson, the Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning in Wales – responsibility for education is devolved - and to Paul Goggins, Community and Custodial Sentences Minister in the Home Office – who has responsibility for prisons and probation in England and Wales. They will provide regular reports of developments in Wales to these Ministers copying in Ivan Lewis, the Minister for Adult Skills in England and the DfES Offenders Learning and Skills Unit in their role as leader of the strategy implementation group. Developing a learning culture amongst offenders As the point of first contact with offenders NPS Area case managers are well placed to motivate, refer and support offenders to access learning programmes and provision. In consultation with ELWa and the Basic Skills Agency, Welsh NPS Areas will: • deliver their responsibility to screen all offenders for basic skills needs at the pre-sentence report (PSR) stage of an offender’s sentence using the Offender Assessment System (OASys), the prison and probation services joint assessment tool for risk and needs; refer offenders in need to literacy, language and numeracy and other learning opportunities, wherever possible in the community, and obtain feedback through network arrangements about the patterns of offender need; establish an effective infrastructure and use a range of motivational strategies to encourage offenders to start learning and by end of sentence to progress to further learning and work opportunities. This will involve working with local information, advice and guidance (IAG) partnerships, Jobcentre Plus and voluntary organisations to organise mentoring and support for offenders and linking with the Youth Justice Board and Youth Offending Teams as appropriate;

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Draft Policy Framework for Wales • ensure that greater weight is given to learning, particularly literacy, language and numeracy skills, as a significant part of supervision planning and offender management and, as needed, integrate learning into probation interventions such as the Think First offender behaviour programme, and orders, such as Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (DTTOs); and where learning provision continues to be contracted with NPS Areas in 200405, to work towards agreed standards and ways of working, including the requirements of the Basic Skills Agency Post 16 Quality Mark which is mapped against the Common Inspection Framework for Education and Training in Wales used for inspection arrangements by Estyn. Providers should also meet the Quality Assurance and continuous improvement criteria of inspection arrangements.

Delivering learning which promotes achievement and progression While the focus will inevitably be on meeting the basic skills targets, the responsibility for learning for offenders includes literacy, language (English for speakers of other languages) and numeracy programmes and Guided Skills Learning (GSL) programmes in key skills and pre-vocational skills delivered as part of the Enhanced Community Punishment programme. In consultation with ELWa and the Basic Skills Agency, and working closely with learning providers, NPS Areas will: • develop a range of learning provision to meet offenders needs where possible contextualising basic skills or embedding basic skills provision as part of offender learning programmes such as Think First and in work and vocational skills programmes; ensure that in-depth assessment of learning needs is on offer for those who need it, making best use of mainstream arrangements for this, using the approved arrangements for individual learning plans and other learning processes; support providers to use the additional funding to adopt flexible funding strategies, particularly in the transition period 2004-05, and to access ELWa mainstream funding for individuals capable of joining mainstream learning programmes, making best use of additional funding available for individuals with poor basic skills and learning disabilities; encourage providers to develop imaginative and flexible approaches to delivery in order to meet effectively the needs of this priority group. This might include encouraging offenders to take the national test for literacy, language or numeracy skills or otherwise achieve a qualification during sentence or soon thereafter.

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Draft Policy Framework for Wales Where there are in-house learning programmes with individuals directly employed by NPS Areas, they should plan future provision with the aim, wherever possible, that from September 2005 all learning provision will be provided by ELWa accredited learning providers. Raising standards and quality High quality learning provision can make a critical difference in offenders’ willingness to improve their skills. NPS Areas will need to work closely with ELWa, the Basic Skills Agency and other partners to ensure that the whole process from screening to completion of learning programme is effective. The twin aim should be to ensure all staff have the expertise to work with offenders and that standards of learning, advice and teaching improve. A range of measures operate to improve quality standards which include: inspection and self-assessment processes; support for learning providers, in particular the sharing of best practice; and support for innovation. Inspection provides valuable feedback about how to improve arrangements for learners. All learning providers funded by ELWa are subject to inspection by Estyn working to criteria set out in the Common Inspection Framework for Education and Training in Wales(CIF). NPS areas are subject to inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation. We will want to consider whether for the future there are any benefits to be gained from greater coordination between inspectorates. Following on from the publication by ABSSU of Success in Adult Literacy, Numeracy and ESOL: A Guide to support the CIF, further guides have been commissioned to support the process of self assessment tailored to the needs of a specific learning setting. A guide for providers working with offenders on probation will be published in autumn 2004. Welsh language standards for literacy, language and numeracy were launched in August 2003 to meet the needs of primarily Welsh-speaking individuals. The initial assessment and core curriculum for literacy, language and numeracy is currently being developed. The NPS areas in Wales will have access to support as an outcome of the BSA’s National Support Project in Wales, funded as part of their programme of grants to voluntary and community organisations. An initial grant of £20,000 has been made available up to March 2004. A project officer has been based in Dyfed-Powys developing courses and materials, embedding courses in probation service work, liaising with basic skills providers and developing a good practice guide for Wales. Once this phase is complete, the next phase is to fund a key link person in each probation area, to run a joint training day for basic skills providers and probation staff in each area in Wales and to produce quality materials for each course developed. We are also developing our thinking in two areas. First, about the most appropriate type of infrastructure in terms of staff resources to put in place to support local and regional partnership in preparation for NOMS and plans to re-contract for prison

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Draft Policy Framework for Wales education in due course. Second, whether it would be appropriate and necessary to conduct further scoping work and establish some pathfinder projects for work with offenders in the community as well as in prisons. This might enable us to test out new ideas and effective working practices. Throughout England and Wales some NPS areas and local LSCs are already engaged in mainstream education, training and employment pilots which include offenders. Further information about these pilots and about innovative practice in using the new offender learning funding throughout England and Wales will be made available as part of our aim to promote innovation and emerging practice. Planning and Delivery Arrangements in Wales In order to succeed we must ensure that partnerships in each area and for Wales as a whole are effective. Partnerships will be based on the development of a mutual understanding of all partners’ aims and objectives. The key aim should be to put in place a seamless process in support of offenders with learning needs. Partnerships should also build links with organisations responsible for employment as a way of helping offenders find work or work-based learning programmes. The new arrangements for partnership in Wales will supersede previous arrangements which may have been agreed. As part of the new arrangements each NPS Area will draw up a Partnership Plan outlining delivery plans for 2004-05 in consultation with representatives from the Basic Skills Agency and ELWa. Each Partnership Plan will need to be shared with the All Wales Basic Skills Strategy Group and signed off by the National Probation Directorate. While we might expect each NPS Area with its partners to follow the roles and responsibilities set out here, there is also discretion for the development of innovative local arrangements as long as these are effective and mutually agreed. Each Partnership Plan will need to agree arrangements for: • Increasing provision to meet targets and for handling of current NPS organised provision, including transition arrangements where these apply, and procurement arrangements for 2004-05 and beyond; the collection of data in support of this, to track learners, and to meet national information requirements; plans to expand provision beyond 2005-06 and analysis of how existing provision does or does not meet learners needs; quality assurance and plans to raise standards including self-assessment arrangements, capacity building among providers, appropriate curriculum developments and staff training, and plans to build on findings from the HMIP and ALI reviews; and protocols for communication and information exchange between partners; and how linkages with other key partners outside the immediate partnership will 10

• • •

• •

Draft Policy Framework for Wales be managed - such as links with prisons and providers of information advice and guidance and Jobcentre Plus; Comments on this draft policy framework document Please send any comments on this draft policy framework by 18 June 2004 to Roger Stevens at the Directorate (telephone: 020 7217 8283 or e-mail roger.stevens@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk Further reading and resources The following is an initial list of reference documents for information. All this material will soon be placed directly or through links on the DfES Offenders Learning and Skills website at www.dfes.gov.uk/offenderlearning/probation and the Basic Skills Website at www.basic-skills.co.uk The National Basic Skills Strategy, BSA and WAG, April 2001 SEU Report – Reducing Re-offending by Ex-Prisoners – a report by the Social Exclusion Unit July 2002. Managing Offenders, Reducing Crime A new approach – Patrick Carter December 2003 Reducing Crime – Changing Lives – the Government’s plans for transforming the management of offenders January 2004. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation thematic report on employment and basic skills January 2004 Success in Adult Literacy, Numeracy and ESOL: A Guide to support the CIF: Prisoners. The version for offenders available September 2004 Skills for Life initiative: more information available from the local LSC or www.lsc.gov.uk/sflqi

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Draft Operational Guidance for Wales

Annex B

OPERATIONAL GUIDANCE – WALES

INTRODUCTION
Background
In October 2002 the Department for Education and Skills and the National Probation Directorate agreed with the Home Secretary and the Treasury new arrangements for the delivery of learning and skills for offenders under supervision of the Probation Service. Working with the National Probation Directorate and the Learning and Skills Council, the DfES Offenders’ Learning and Skills unit has led a project overseen by a project board to carry forward the agreed plans. These were that: • all learning and skills for those under supervision of the Probation service should be provided by mainstream providers in England, funded through the LSC and within a national framework led by the DfES Offenders’ Learning and Skills Unit; 2003-4 to be a preparatory year with the new framework operating from April 2004; a sum for direct delivery of provision to be agreed and transferred to the DfES. Funding for the screening, guidance and referral to appropriate learning opportunities would remain with the NPS. In addition new SR 2002 funding of £10m for each of 2004-05 and 2005-06 to be transferred to the local LSCs in England and direct to NPS areas in Wales; the NPD, DfES and LSC are to share responsibility for the relevant targets to underpin delivery in England.

• •

The National Probation Service has responsibility for offenders in England and Wales, whereas the remit of the DfES and the Learning and Skills Council covers England only. Wales has its own national basic skills strategy; the Basic Skills Agency oversees the implementation of that cradle to grave strategy. This operational guidance sets out the alternative arrangements for funding and planning arrangements for basic skills provision for offenders in Wales for 2004-5. In Wales the NPS have agreed with the Welsh Assembly Government and ELWa on a two stage approach to funding and planning arrangements for basic skills provision for offenders under supervision. The first stage, to operate from 1st April 2004, would be for the additional funding to transfer to the 4 NPS areas in Wales. In the longer term it was agreed that ELWa should take on responsibility for arranging the learning provision. The remit letter from Jane Davidson (Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning) has instructed ELWa to include offenders in their remit. The initial 18 months would be seen as a transitional period during which arrangements would be made to facilitate

Draft Operational Guidance for Wales the transfer of responsibility, with the target of doing this by August 2005 to coincide with the introduction of new funding streams. The new partnership arrangements for learning and skills provision for offenders in the community will entail a change in the way learning and skills provision is managed in Wales. The operational guidance document will provide clear guidance for staff in all the partner organisations on: • how the new arrangements will operate • the breakdown of responsibilities of the partner organisations

Rationale for Transfer
The Social Exclusion Unit’s (SEU) report on Reducing Re-offending (2002) highlighted the role of education and training as a means of providing offenders with alternatives to crime. As part of a strategy to improve the quality and quantity of education and training available to offenders, Ministers have sought to encourage a closer working relationship between the NPS and key partners, at local and national level. Local NPS areas should adhere to the principles set out in the guidance so that: • • • there is national consistency in the approach taken to partnership working; minimum disruption is experienced by learners; opportunities for offenders in the community to access wider educational provision are maximised.

The arrangements outlined in this guidance draw on the following sources: • • • • NPS: Audit of Probation Area Arrangements for Basic Skills 2001-02; NPS: Performance Report 8 2002-03; Joint Protocol between NPS and LSC 2003; Survey carried out by the Learning and Skills Development Agency (LSDA) in July 2003 of NPS basic skills delivery.

In addition NPS areas should note that the Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI) was commissioned to carry out a review of NPS education provision. Probation areas will want to see the review and make sure that their Partnership Plans are consistent with the key points identified by ALI. The review is expected to be published by the end of May 2004. NPS areas will be responsible for the planning and delivery of current basic skills provision and for appropriate local expansion and development of that provision. They will be expected to work in consultation with ELWa and the Basic Skills Agency (BSA) This guidance is set out in 5 parts: • • • • • Policy context Funding, targets and data collection Planning guidance Contracting and procurement Information Quality

Draft Operational Guidance for Wales With one annex: • Annex A provides essential data on funding and targets

Part 1 – Policy Context
The vision behind the transfer of funding and the development of partnership working is: …that offenders according to need should have access to education and training in the community which enables them to gain the skills and qualifications they need to provide alternatives to crime, get and keep appropriate employment, and play a positive role within their local community. The aims of the partnerships should be to: o o o o o o o o • increase demand for learning by offenders and improve levels of basic literacy, language and numeracy develop, enhance and improve provision for offenders improve retention and achievement by those who begin courses while under supervision create stronger links and transition arrangements with mainstream providers develop greater understanding on the part of providers of the needs of offenders in the community improve quality pilot activities in order to develop future policy support the vision of a bilingual Wales

The key tasks for the partnership organisations will be to: o o o o o develop an understanding of each others’ work create protocols for joint working, strategically and operationally deliver quality provision which meets agreed targets monitor progress maximise the benefits of the partnership in preparation for the introduction of new sentencing arrangements

Part 2 Funding, Targets and Data Collection
For 2004–05, the Project Board has agreed that £7.3 million (£7.9m for England & Wales) will transfer from the Home Office to the DfES for allocation through NPD. This will be for screening, referral and infrastructure costs. It will also include some delivery of learning programmes by contracts, which continue beyond April 2004, as part of a transitional funding arrangement. These funds will be allocated to NPS areas through the NPD baseline and are to be ring fenced by NPS areas for this purpose. £533,000 will be allocated directly to the four areas in Wales for screening, referral and effective infrastructure and shared between areas as follows: Dyfed Powys Gwent North Wales South Wales £79,000 £108,000 £109,000 £237,000

Draft Operational Guidance for Wales An additional £9.4 million (£10m for England and Wales) will be allocated to the LSC for distribution to local LSCs. The £618,030, additional funding for Wales is for learning provision in the 4 areas to be shared as follows: Dyfed- Powys Gwent North Wales South Wales £84,780 £131,690 £122,520 £279,040

For 2005–06, funding will be shaped by: • • the current ALI review joint assessment of NPD baseline funding requirements, undertaken by OLSU, LSC and NPD. The assessment will be based on collated and analysed data and information on NPS areas’ responsibilities for screening and referral, and on local LSC responsibilities for assessment and learning programmes. This process will take place during the summer of 2004 and the results will inform the allocations for 2005-06. NPD will also develop a resource allocation methodology for local area basic skills infrastructure costs.

National Targets
Joint targets for starts and qualifications have been agreed at national level by the NPS and the LSC. It is recognised that these targets are challenging, but the figures for this year are not negotiable. For 2004–05, these targets are: • • 32,000 starts1 8,000 qualifications (at any level).

Local Targets
The NPD have allocated starts and qualifications targets to each NPS area, based on their national funding and allocation formula. Local indicative targets which have been distributed to local NPS areas are set out on the attached spreadsheet (annex A). It must be noted that this distribution is not based on actual performance. These targets are acknowledged to be challenging, particularly in those areas where NPS performance has been disappointing in terms of delivering qualifications to date. A key aspect of the Partnership Planning process will be to identify weaknesses in achieving existing targets, and to develop strategies to improve that situation. In Wales responsibility for the achievement of targets remains with the NPS.
1

An NPS Start is defined as ONE of the following: • where an individual learning plan has been developed and agreed with the learner • where a learner has attended a ‘taster’ basic skills course • where a learner is still in basic skills provision after 2 sessions although the individual learning plan has not been completed.

Draft Operational Guidance for Wales Data Collection NPS areas will continue to submit a monthly return, details of which will be issued shortly by NPD. The information from the NPS basic skills monthly return will be used to populate the NPS delivery plan report to Ministers and the Commissioner, the NPS performance report and will subsequently be used to calculate the NPS performance link. Colleagues should be conscious of the possibility of “double funding” where mainstream providers are already delivering provision for offenders in the community under contract to the local Probation Service. During discussions to develop the Partnership Plan, colleagues should identify the full range of funding streams for offenders in the community. ELWa should advise providers that they may not draw down mainstream funding for learners whose provision is covered by a separate contract with the NPS. The NPD is required to continue to report on the performance of local NPS areas, including their activities in screening and referring learners for provision. Details of quarterly milestones and projected achievements against targets are required to assist NPD in its reporting function. In addition, the NPD is planning to develop a new quarterly return from NPS areas, which will mainly provide additional data including information related to equality and diversity. Details and guidance for these returns will shortly be issued by the NPD in a Probation Circular (PC). For further information on data collection, contact Ed Stradling at the NPD.

Part 3 Planning Guidance
A key aspect of local delivery arrangements will be the development of a joint Partnership Plan for the education and training of offenders in the community, which builds on the expertise of the NPS area with his client group. There should be in each area: • Strategic links between the senior executives of the partner organisations • An operational link between designated officers responsible for this work Local partnership organisations should be free to determine the nature and content of their own partnership plan, but they may find it useful to use the Partnership Plan as guidance (see Annex B) The NPS areas, in consultation with representatives from ELWa and the Basic Skills Agency, should draw up a Partnership Plan outlining delivery plans for 2004/5. The Plans should be shared with the All Wales Basic Skills Strategy Group and signed off by NPD before money can be released. The Partnership Plan will need to be completed by the end of March and will replace the basic skills action plans that areas had to complete last year. The basis of the plan will be: • • • • A full exchange of information A close examination of the tasks with which the area is faced in terms of targets The setting and agreement of target milestones and commitment from organisations to achieve the tasks The delivery arrangements for 2004-05.

Draft Operational Guidance for Wales

CONTRACTUAL ARRANGEMENTS – PROCUREMENT
Part 4 - Contractual Arrangements/Procurement Funding/ Agreements
Contracting Guidance 2004-05 This section provides a summary of the key points and considerations to ensure that adequate contractual arrangements are in place for 1 April 2004, covering the period from 1 April 2004 to 31 March 2005. Activity occurring within the first year will be set out in a local ‘Partnership Plan’ (a copy of the template for the ‘Partnership Plan’ is included within this operational guidance at annex B). The plan will act as a strategic document which sets out the main planning, operational and delivery issues for the period to 31 March 2005.

Funding and Payment Arrangements
Funding and payment arrangements are to be determined locally. Consideration must be given to the funding of any provision delivered by providers currently in receipt of other funding. In many cases existing providers may want to utilise other funding to supplement or enhance the provision or support provided under this initiative. In such cases, the NPS must be mindful of any double funding issues by being clear about the provision or support being funded under each of the funding streams. Management Information Management information requirements have been agreed nationally and the collection template must be incorporated into the contractual documentation issued and referenced appropriately. Evidence Requirements Evidence requirements must be agreed and attached as a schedule to the contract. The nature of any such evidence will depend upon the services being provided or contracted for, but could include details and outcomes of initial assessments, learning plans, progress review records, details of any additional support required/provided, award accreditation/verification etc. Targets Targets must be clearly set out including the numbers of starts and Achievements (particularly those contributing to the PSA Target). This will be needed at provider level where direct contracts are being agreed.

Further Clarification
The following points should be noted: • 2004–05 is a transition year, which means that arrangements put in place for that year are not necessarily permanent • the purpose of the partnership between NPS areas and local organisations is to improve the quality and quantity of education for offenders in the community. Specifically the purpose of the funds is to deliver the basic skills target, based on meeting the needs of learners who are also offenders. Appropriate provision for this group of learners may take many forms and is likely to include provision such as embedded basic skills and

Draft Operational Guidance for Wales engagement activities. The funds may also be used to fund ‘guided skills learning’ within ECP orders • the method of allocating the £9.4 million (£10m for England and Wales) has been to use data from NPS areas and allocate in the same proportions as used for the £7.3 million (£7.9m for England and Wales). These funds are to be used by NPS areas to develop new and different provision, to improve quality of provision and to develop the capacity of providers to deliver to this group of learners Providers will need to take account in agreeing delivery arrangements of the particular needs of this client group e.g. levels of risk posed. Arrangements for 1:1 provision on probation premises may have to be considered for some learners Offenders do not form a homogeneous group of learners. Arrangements for delivery should take account of the needs of male and female offenders, people from all ethnic backgrounds, and those with disabilities £7.3 million (£7.9 million for England and Wales) baseline funding allocated to NPS areas will be used for screening and/or assessment, referral services, and for carrying forward any existing contracts with a termination date beyond April 04 and for infrastructure costs.

NPD Allocations
In December 2003 the NPD issued the NPS Budget Pack 2004/05 to NPS areas with details of the ring fenced basic skills baseline allocation to areas. The NPD will produce detailed accounting guidance for local NPS areas in respect of allocations for 2004-05.

Part 5 - Quality
Provision delivered by existing ELWa funded providers will be eligible for inspection by Estyn (using the Common Inspection Framework for Education and Training in Wales). This will ensure that the quality of education and training, and standards achieved by learners fulfils the requirements of ELWa. Providers will also need to demonstrate the quality of management, leadership and curriculum training areas as well as quality assurance and continuous improvement. NPS areas may want to use the criteria of the Basic Skills Agency Post 16 Quality Mark to help in selecting suitable basic skills providers. Throughout the transition year 2004–05, there will be opportunities to provide feedback about emerging issues and problems, so that a consistent framework can be developed for 2005-06 and beyond.

Draft Operational Guidance for Wales

Annex A Indicative Funding for National Probation Service Basic Skills – Wales
WALES 2004-05 Dyfed-Powys Gwent North Wales South Wales Wales Totals England and Wales Totals Target Starts 271 421 392 893 1977 32000 Target Qualifications 68 105 98 223 494 8000 Baseline Funding direct to NPS areas 79.00 108.00 109.00 237.00 533 7900 Additional Funding £000 84.78 131.69 122.52 279.04 618 10000

Draft Operational Guidance for Wales

ANNEX B NPS PARTNERSHIP PLAN (WALES) The plan is to be completed in consultation with the Basic Skills Agency and ELWa. Please note that a copy should be sent to Ingrid Zammit and to Laura Fairweather at the NPD, by the end of March 2004. NPS Area: Total 04-05 allocation: Joint 04-05 target – starts: Joint 04-05 target – qualifications: Identify provision rolling forward into 04 –05 (Contract or partnership arrangements for delivery of assessment and/or teaching)

Identify provision/contracts ceasing from end 2003- 04

Draft Operational Guidance for Wales

Review and evaluate existing provision – what works?

Assessment of the current position in relation to 2003-04 targets – analyse reasons for missing targets (specifically what has been the main reason for missing targets)

Plans to meet targets – consider strategies at all stages of the learner’s involvement.

Set out the Partnership’s plans for provision in 2004–05

Draft Operational Guidance for Wales

Assessment of the position in relation to supply of and demand for provision. Are existing providers delivering? Are new providers needed? How can demand for provision be increased, managed and monitored?

Outline of how planned provision will respond to equality and diversity issues

Identification of any need for capacity building within the organisations and providers

Draft Operational Guidance for Wales

Review of the data currently available to organisations and required by national bodies

Identification of how basic skills provision will be supported. Who has responsibility for what? How will contracts be managed?

NPS areas and partners should discuss arrangements for the following: Initial assessments. Local NPS areas should provide details on specialist assessment for dyslexia and other disabilities Who are the providers?

Draft Operational Guidance for Wales

Quality assurance arrangements – What is in place or what will be put in place for Quality Assurance?

NPS staff requirements – infrastructure e.g. coordination, support, training.

Strategies to increase referrals, retention and achievements

Draft Operational Guidance for Wales Sharing of data and tracking learners – how will areas keep track of offenders’ progress?

What basic skills protocols exist between NPS Protocols and other organisations?

Detail dates for quarterly reviews of the partnership plan

Draft Operational Guidance for Wales

Milestones to be achieved by quarter including projected target achievements: (detail significant milestones to be achieved, e.g. projected target achievements, staff training completed, monthly access to the national tests in place, etc.)

1st Quarter Milestones
Starts: Quals

2nd Quarter Milestones
Starts: Quals

3rd Quarter Milestones
Starts: Quals

4th Quarter Milestones
Starts: Quals

NPS areas will be required to update NPD on the achievement of Quarterly Milestones

This Partnership Plan was completed in consultation with:

Draft Operational Guidance for Wales

Signed: …………………………………………………...… (Chief Officer) Date: ……………………………..

Draft Operational Guidance for Wales