In 2016, the extensive reform to education provision in prisons created opportunities for organisations to provide new educational programmes.
Lexonik, then trading as Sound Training, piloted in three reform prisons with delivery taking place over a six-week period. An independent evaluation conducted by LKMco assessed the impact of the programme on the following learner outcomes:
- Reading ability
- Attitudes to reading and education
Almost all learners included in the evaluation increased their reading age considerably over the course of the programme. The average gain in reading age was 18 months, which increased to 23 months when learners with a maximum baseline score were discounted. Examples of particularly significant progress included 5 learners who increased their reading ages by 39, 60 and 65 months respectively. Many learners increased their reading age to the maximum 18.9 years: at baseline, 21% of learners had a reading age of 18.9 compared to 65% of learners at endpoint. Learners also reported that they had improved numerous other reading related skills including spelling, vocabulary knowledge and the ability to decode words. Learners felt that these improvements positively impacted on their ability and behaviour in other education programmes.
This report was written by the education and youth development ‘think and action tank’ LKMco.