Prisoner Learning Alliance

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Find out more about the PLA's work, membership and events.

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The Prisoner Learning Alliance (PLA) is a network of organisations and individuals with expertise in prison education. We use our collective voice to improve prison education

Find out more about the PLA’s priorities

We are passionate about improving education in prisons – our vision is:

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

Our mission is:

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

The PLA chair is Professor Tom Schuller, who has held senior posts in academia and policy, is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, and a visiting professor at Birkbeck and the UCL Institute of Education.

The PLA is organised through a steering committee, voted for by PLA members. The secretariat is provided by Joe Coules and Francesca Cooney from Prisoners’ Education Trust.

Some of the PLA’s achievements include:

  • Influencing the Ministry of Justice to adopt a broader definition of prison education
    Read more
  • Supporting governors to commission education through our publication Greenhouses not Warehouses
    Read more
  • Our annual PLA Awards. Last year we received over 1300 nominations from serving prisoners, recognising staff and mentors that had supported them to progress in education.

The PLA includes prison officers, governors, teachers, voluntary sector workers and people with lived experience of prison. If you would like to join, please email for more information.

By joining the PLA you can:

  • Stay up to date on policy changes affecting prison education
  • Learn about and share good practice
  • Hear about our events and awards first
  • Receive our reports and briefings
  • Join a national and European network of people actively improving prison education

© Prisoners' Education Trust 2019

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