Alliance welcomes government review into education in prisons

8 Sep 2015

The Prisoner Learning Alliance(PLA) welcomes the Ministry of Justice’s review of education in prisons, announced by the Secretary of State Michael Gove, today (8th September 2015).

Rod Clark, Chief Executive of Prisoners’ Education Trust (PET) which brought together the PLA and provides its secretariat has been invited to represent the views of the PLA’s 23 member organisations on an expert panel which will support the review process.

Rod Clark, Chief Executive, Prisoners’ Education Trust, said:

“We welcome this timely review, which will be an opportunity to reinvigorate learning opportunities in prison and give prisoners a decent chance to turn their lives around.

“Thousands of people are currently leaving prison without the skills or attributes to contribute positively to society. In his last report, the Chief Inspector of Prisons found the worst results for work, training and education in 10 years.

“We want education be a priority in every prison. Prisoners need to be engaged in learning that is exciting, creative and relevant to their needs and aspirations.  Learners should be involved in the process, so they can come up with ways to make improvements and encourage their peers to learn. And once prisoners begin learning, there must be ways to ensure they continue progressing and gain the life skills and qualifications that employers, colleges and universities in the community really value. One of the best ways to do this is through ICT, with secure digital learning platforms. And prisoners should be better connected with the learning opportunities available on the outside.

“Charities have a vital role in helping men and women move away from crime and that’s why it is so important to ensure their voices are represented in this review. On behalf of the Prisoner Learning Alliance and Prisoners’ Education Trust I will work to highlight the challenges that currently exist in our system and suggest solutions that are cost-effective, successful in rehabilitating prisoners and ultimately lead to fewer victims of crime.”

The PLA brings expertise from 23 organisations including charities, universities and businesses with substantial experience of education and training in prisons.

Editor's Notes

For interviews, photos or further information please contact Susannah Henty (PET), Media Manager: susannah@prisonerseducation.org.uk; 020 3752 5676 or visit www.prisonerseducation.org.uk

PLA carries out research, informed by its members, prison staff and prisoner learners, to improve prison education policies. Read the PLA’s briefing on the Future of Prison Education Contracts, published May 2015 and its first report, Smart Rehabilitation, published December 2013.

About Us

The Prisoner Learning Alliance was formed in 2012 by the charity Prisoners’ Education Trust ‘to provide expertise and vision to inform future priorities, policies and practices relating to prison education, learning and skills’. It now brings together 23 expert organisations who work to champion learning for people in prison.

For the full list of members visit: http://www.prisonerseducation.org.uk/prisoner-learning-alliance