What a Former Head of Education at Wormwood Scrubs Prison Has Learnt About the Power of Believing in People

How Tutors Can Use Empathy to Support Students Who Are Disengaged from School

It’s hard to know what life is like in prison if you haven’t experienced it. For a chronically disengaged student, it’s much the same. Claire Smith understands both.

Claire is a compassionate and highly experienced tutor for Nudge Education. Previously, Claire worked as Head of Education at not only Wormwood Scrubs Prison in London but also HMP Bronzefield, in Middlesex.

We challenge you to find a more open and, at times, brutally honest conversation than this one. Young offenders and prisoners are hidden from society but, if Claire’s experience is anything to go by, these are the individuals who need our community-led approach to learning the most.

What we are most proud of, apart from giving someone as well travelled and well versed as Claire a platform to share her experiences, is the power of the Qualified Tutor training courses. Claire was able to find confidence and support through our tutor training programme and the community we’ve created, and we’re very grateful to Nudge and to our amazing Community members for sharing in this.

Reading and writing is there for the taking while you’re in prison but once you leave, there’s nothing there … you go back to the old ways

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