Today is the International Day of Education in Prisons and to celebrate, yesterday HMP Stafford ran a celebration event for learners. Created by a committee of education and prison colleagues, plus learners, the event was a chance for learners to really see the offer that is available from our education department, showcasing the important role that education plays in rehabilitation and providing skills to support their lives on release.
Every curriculum area had to think of what to do, how to present their subject and run fun and interesting mini sessions to encourage learners within the relevant pathway to sign up to the waiting list for that course. Prisoners were also given the opportunity to buy some of the work that other learners had made in classes or groups and the funds raised will be sent to the Samaritans to support the vital work that they do.
Colleagues supporting prison leavers into work also had the opportunity to speak to learners about opportunities on release and peer mentors and other support groups were also available to share what’s on offer.
It was a really great opportunity for learners to really understand the education and employment opportunities available and 300 learners were able to attend and speak to education and work colleagues, helping to support rehabilitation and reduce the likelihood of reoffending on release.
A celebration of success in prison education
Alongside the showcase of the education and employment opportunities, the celebration event also gave education colleagues the chance to recognise learners that have gone above the usual standard for effort, achievement and engagement.
Whilst we believe that every learner who comes into prison education is a success story, these learners deserved extra recognition. Every colleague who made a nomination wanted to share how the learner had overcome barriers, pushed themselves outside of their comfort zone, demonstrated excellent commitment and determination, or applied their learning to their workplace to help and support others. By showcasing those that have gone above and beyond, we are encouraging others to also make a real effort with their learning going forward.
Sarah Plows, Novus Education Manager at HMP Stafford shared her thoughts on the event:
“I am so proud of every learner and their achievements. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing our learners develop in their skills and knowledge and progress in their learner journey. I am also very proud to be part of a Great Team here at Stafford and I have an amazing team of teachers, support, admin staff and managers who have pulled together to showcase their amazing work in the Celebration of Learning Event.”
Collaborating to success in prison education
Making education in a prison a success is a real team effort and the support from the prison team is vital. Teresa Wright, Deputy Governor at HMP Stafford shows the real focus that is given to education across the whole prison:
"Today's event has really showcased the amazing work and achievements of our learners, their progress and success and also the work the Education Department, run by Novus, does within our prison. Education and Training sits at the heart of the rehabilitation of prisoners at HMP Stafford."
Thank you to everyone involved
Organising an event like this one takes many months of planning and could not have taken place without the help and support of the whole team at HMP Stafford. A special thank you needs to go to Linda Dutton, who co-ordinated this event, along with Hannah Myers and Simon Leonard who were our representatives on the celebration committee.
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