National Award for Reading’s Youth Offending Service
Reading Borough Council Press Release
READING Youth Offending Service’s work in reducing reoffending rates by improving young people’s literacy skills has been recognised in a national award.
The YOS team was given an Effective Practice award at the Youth Justice Conference on 19th November for their success with the Rapid English Communication Course – a software programme that is used by staff to help identify and overcome young people’s literacy problems. Reading was the first Local Authority to adopt the programme and has monitored its outcomes closely.
Reading currently has one of the lowest reoffending rates in the country. 73% of young people currently involved with the YOS team have not reoffended and the programme has been used to enhance initiatives to reduce reoffending.
Sessions do not seek to replace mainstream education; the young people taking the course have often been out of mainstream education for a long time. Instead, the programme covers areas of communication that are relevant to the young people: speaking and listening for interview situations and formal settings such as panel meetings; constructing sentences and paragraphs for CV building and for confident expression and reading; and writing, speaking and listening skills.
Reading's Lead Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Jan Gavin said:
“Reading’s Youth Offending Services team should be commended on finding a successful, accessible way to reduce re-offending rates at a time when services are under pressure because of Government budget cuts.
“The programme has obviously struck a chord with the young people involved and has given many of them the skills to turn their lives around.”