Higher Level and Distance Learning in Prison

As well as providing functional skills and vocations skills education in prison, Novus also offer the option to pursue higher level education and distance learning opportunities. 

How does higher level and distance learning help adults in prison

Higher level learning provides men and women with access to a wider range of career opportunities post release. Developing greater skills and specialist knowledge beyond simply learning to read and write, improves prisioners' chances to better compete with candidates in the community for jobs. Access to more opportunities such as education and work boosts confidence, self-belief and helps individuals to take new directions that reduce the chance of re-offending.

Our higher level and distance learning support

We want our learners to have access to all levels of education, supporting their aspirations and developing their individual learning and skill aims. Our team of passionate and committed tutors encourage their learners to see the value of distance learning and progression to higher level study as a route to wider employment opportunities and a more positive future after release from prison.

We are investing in the digital upgrade of our 43 Prison Education Framework (PEF) establishments to create a modern, digitalised working and learning environment. Our digital transformation project will support better access to distance learning and help to widen the opportunities available to our learners across England and Wales.

Higher Level and Distance learning courses in prison

We work collaboratively with partners who are specialists in higher education level learning and distance learning to make sure our prison education programmes are up-to-date and give our learners the right skills to get the jobs that are right for them. Our partners include education services such as the Open University, Prisoners’ Education Trust and local colleges and universities.

Together with these partners we have helped our learners achieve a variety of qualifications from prison, including:

  • Humanities Degree
  • Catering NVQ Level 1 & Level 2 
  • Interior Design Degree

Graduation Proves Anything Is Possible

Claire has proved that a custodial sentence is no barrier to achievement and change after graduating with a Humanities Degree from the Open University while at HMP/YOI Low Newton.

Claire, who is the first student from HMP/YOI Low Newton to have graduated with an OU degree, is supported by the education team and prison staff at the establishment in Durham, along with her OU Tutor, Jon Stoddard.

Claire, whose family attended her graduation ceremony, has been an inspiration to many of her peers at the prison, and her success has motivated some to consider different learning opportunities during their time in custody.