PLA (Prisoner Learning Alliance)

Prisoners' Education Trust established the Prisoner Learning Alliance (PLA) in 2012, which brings together organisations and individuals with the following vision:

'That all prisoners can engage in high-quality and diverse learning opportunities to help them transform their lives.'

To achieve this vision, our mission is:

'To provide expertise and strategic vision to inform prison education priorities, policies and practices.'

The PLA is chaired by Professor Tom Schuller and governance is managed by the Chair, Prisoners' Education Trust as secretariat, and an elected steering committee.

Now open to new members!

In 2018 the PLA is changing - to strengthen our voice, become more transparent and include a broader membership that is more representative of prisoner learners and the education and criminal justice sectors.
If you are interested in becoming a member, click here to find out more.

Click here to read the PLA Terms of Reference

Some of the PLA's key achievements to date have included:

  • Influencing a broader definition of prison education;
  • Releasing a resource to support governors with their new commissioning powers - powers the PLA called for - with a foreword by Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah MP;
  • Successfully engaging with the Ministry of Justice to provide expertise on the education commissioning arrangements - with bi-monthly forum meetings planned for 2018;
  • The new 'Enablers of Learning' and 'Engagement and Progression Learning' funding flexibilities in education budgets - following calls in the PLA's 2015 briefing for greater  recognition of engagement and progression;
  • Our annual PLA Awards receiving over 400 nominations from serving prisoners in 2017, with one winner recognised in the party conference speech of the Secretary of State for Justice.

Click here to read more about our achievements

PLA meetings are attended regularly by officials from the Ministry of Justice. On each agenda there is space to hear the views of former prisoner learners. One meeting each year is held in a prison, so that serving prisoners and prison staff can also give their views.

The PLA logo was kindly designed by a prisoner at HMP Highpoint, facilitated by Gensita Dunham, Art & Design Curriculum Manager, People Plus.

To read the latest updates from the PLA, go to the News page and filter by area of interest.