Dublin, 24 January 2024

Meeting today (24 January 2024) at the Dublin offices of the Inspectorate of Prisons, the Chief Inspector of the Department of Education Inspectorate, Yvonne Keating, and the Chief Inspector of Prisons, Mark Kelly, pledged to broaden and deepen their cooperation during the years to come.

The two Inspectorates marked United Nations International Day of Education with the signature of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) designed to reinforce their existing collaboration.

Speaking after signing the new MoU, Chief Inspector Keating said:

“Today, on International Day of Education, it is my pleasure to be meeting with the Inspectorate of Prisons, to continue our collaborative work towards providing a high-quality service to our most vulnerable learners. While evaluation, advice and support are key functions of many Inspectorates, we also place a strong emphasis on building human capacity and promoting improvement in the settings we visit. We know that educational provision in prisons plays an important role in the rehabilitation and development process. It can also provide a realistic pathway and a catalyst for rehabilitation that minimises the risk of reoffending. The Department of Education is committed to continuing on this journey with the Inspectorate of Prisons.”

Chief Inspector Kelly added:

“When the United Nations General Assembly adopted its 2018 Resolution proclaiming today as International Day of Education, it recognised that education is a human right, a public good and a public responsibility. In the Irish context, our close collaboration with the Inspectorate of the Department of Education breathes life into those words, including during our inspections of the purposeful activity offered to people living in prisons, for whom education can offer a gateway to a brighter future. I am very grateful that our colleagues from the Department of Education have today agreed to broaden and deepen our cooperation during the years to come.”


Note to Editors

Further details about UN International Day of Education can be found at: https://www.un.org/en/observances/education-day

The Inspectorate of Prisons is a statutory body, independent in how it carries out its work, set up under the Prisons Act 2007. It is anticipated that, in the near future, the Inspectorate will become the Inspectorate of Places of Detention, with an expanded remit as the National Preventive Mechanism for the Justice sector under the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture (OPCAT).

The Department of Education Inspectorate is the division of the Department of Education responsible for the evaluation of Early Learning and Care settings, primary and post-primary schools and centres for education.

Inspectors from the Department of Education Inspectorate lend their considerable expertise to the Inspectorate of Prisons during its statutory inspections of prisons in Ireland.

For further information: www.oip.ie