Teaching In Prisons

Teaching roles within Novus establishments cover a varied range of subjects and skills, leaving you uniquely positioned to have a positive impact on the development of learners and providing a path to crime free futures.

Learn more about our new initiatives for teachers in prisons and the local community.

Teacher Bank

The Novus Teacher Bank initiative is committed to providing a ready supply of highly qualified cover for regular teaching staff within Novus establishments.

As a locally available qualified teacher, Teacher Bank will include you in our database of candidates who are available to work flexibly, and at short notice, in order to maintain the highest possible teaching standards for Novus learners.

Why teach in prisons?

Teaching in prisons can be highly challenging – but equally as rewarding! As a teacher, you can help prisoners gain the skills they need for employment after release which provides them with greater financial security and reduces the risk of re-offending. 

For almost 30 years Novus has been helping offenders change direction and we are proud to have directly contributed to the sustainable rehabilitation, resettlement and employment of tens of thousands of individuals across England and Wales.    


What do we teach in prisons?

At Novus, our prison education programmes are focused on providing learners with the Foundations for Change: essential, functional skills that enable them to fully participate in society as well as gain the knowledge and confidence they need to take on advanced education or employment. 

These include:

  • English, Maths and Digital Skills
  • Vocational and Technical Education
  • Higher Level and Distance Learning Progression 
  • Enrichment and Engagement

Who do we teach?

Novus offers learning, skills, support and opportunity to men, women and young people at over 50 locations across England and Wales, providing local knowledge with national experience. 

We work in Adult Prisons in seven regions of England, grouped in accordance with the geographic division employed by the Ministry of Justice’s Prison Education Framework: Cumbria and Lancashire; Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire; London; Tees and Wear; West Midlands; Women’s Estate North and Yorkshire. We also work in two Private Prisons in Merseyside and Warwickshire and in North Wales as part of the Novus Cambria joint venture. 

Our Young People’s team work in three young offender institutions in the North and South of England.

View our locations

Teaching in Prison with Novus

Opportunities to teach with Novus are closer than you think. Novus provide learning, skills, employability or related services in over 50 establishments, including HMPs, YOIs and privately-run prisons across England and Wales. These operations are supported by a network of regional offices, led from our head office in Manchester.

How to become a teacher for prisons

All of teachers and tutors must have a teaching qualification or subject-specialist qualification as well as at least a Level 2 qualification in Maths and English. 

What skills and qualities do candidates need to teach 

At Novus, we need our teachers to demonstrate specific values and behaviours to succeed:

  • Aspirational – able and willing to evolve, achieve potential, adapt to changing environments
  • Respect – lead by example, embrace diversity, build trust with learners
  • Collaboration – work together to offer all learners and customers excellent outcomes, build strong working relationships

You will also need to be able to:

  • show patience to learners when teaching
  • remain calm in stressful situations
  • be flexible and responsive to learner needs
  • communicate well with others

What do teachers in prison do?

The role of a teacher in a prison environment can be highly varied and can include:

  • Developing lesson plans in line with curriculum and targets
  • Contributing to Individual Learning Plans to provide extra support where needed
  • Working together with other teachers and prison education staff to support learner outcomes
  • Supporting learners in all aspects of achieving their accreditation and qualification
  • Ensuring the safeguarding of all learners

Prison Education Career Opportunities