Since 1989, Prisoners' Education Trust has been providing access to broader learning opportunities for prisoners, to enhance their chances of building a better life after release.
We do this through our Access to Learning programme, which assists over 3,000 prisoners each year to study distance learning courses in subjects and at levels not otherwise available in prison. We also give prisoners funding for art and hobby materials. We are available to offer expert advice and guidance to all learners and the staff that support them.
Distance learning is particularly suitable for prisoners who have already achieved reasonable educational levels inside prison or before coming to prison and want to continue study. Since prison-based provision mainly covers up to level two, distance learning may be the only way for these prisoners to progress. It can equip prisoners with increased confidence and self-esteem, and with the knowledge and skills that will assist their employment chances and resettlement potential. It is also an ideal solution to the practical issues of studying in prison: study can be undertaken in cell, it places minimum demands on prison staff and course materials can move with the prisoner if they transfer to a new establishment.
The feedback received from some of the 38,000 prisoners we have funded since PET began deepens our conviction that access to learning is a crucial element in the process of change which leads them away from further crime.
If you are a former learner who has now left prison, you can find out more about joining our Alumni network here.