Skip to main content

Onley Young Offenders Gain Educational Qualifications by Digging a Hole

Dr Stephen Hill & one of the diggers

Dr Stephen Hill & one of the diggers

Originally Published 26 June 2003

Four residents of Her Majesty’s Young Offenders Institution and Remand Centre, Onley, are to gain some educational qualifications by digging an archaeological test pit in the establishment’s market garden area thanks to University of Warwick and Channel 4’s “Big Dig.”

Senior Officer Peter Ellis approached Channel 4 and registered Onley’s interest in taking part in the “Big Dig”. The Governor Sue McAllister and Peter wanted the young people participating to gain real benefits from doing so and any archaeology treated with due care.

Peter thus turned to the University of Warwick and asked its resident archaeologist Dr Stephen Hill if he could help. Not only did Dr Hill agree to help supervise the dig, he also agreed to take the 4 young diggers through a short certificate course in “Exploring Archaeology”. This course gives instruction in project management and working as a group and will give each of the participants 5 “CATS points” that they can add to future learning.

The centre is sited next to an abandoned medieval village the aim of the dig is to see if any of the village extends into the prison grounds. So their dig will actually be using medieval history to bring practical educational benefits to those four young people that they can use in their daily lives.

Dr Hill will deliver the Exploring Archaeology course in the Centre on Friday 27th June. The Dig is on Saturday 28th June.

For further information please contact:

Dr Stephen Hill, Dept of Continuing Education, University of Warwick Tel: 024 76 524178

Pete Ellis, HM Young Offenders Institution and Remand Centre, Onley 01788 523660