Prison education today

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In April 2019, the government introduced a new system of education to English prisons. It divided prisons into ‘lots’, and awarded new contracts to four providers – Milton Keynes College, NOVUS, PeoplePlus and Weston College of Further and Higher Education.

For a full list of who provides education, click here

The changes aim to give governors more autonomy over education in their prisons – allowing them to make decisions based on the needs of their population.

Governors can access education provision in two ways:

  • The new Prison Education Framework (PEF), the prison’s education provider will cover the majority of education services, including a core curriculum of English, maths, ICT and ESOL.
  • The Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS), which will allow governors to purchase smaller, more specialist or short term education services to meet the needs of their prisoners. The DPS has been live since September 2018 (link) and suppliers can apply to be on the DPS at any time.
Have your say: How is the DPS working for you?

25 Oct 2017 | Prisoner Learning Alliance | Governance | Toolkit | PDF | 3.28MB

Greenhouses not Warehouses: A guide to commissioning in prisons

Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLASS) contracts come to an end in April 2018, making way for a new era of prison governor-led education commissioning. Prisons are being given increasing flexibility and control over education budgets and the ability to commission a wide range of provision.

The workbook is designed to support prison governors and managers with this process.

© Prisoners' Education Trust 2020

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