English, Maths and Digital Skills Education

English, maths and digital skills are essential functional skills needed to function as a member of modern society. They are the keys to unlocking our learners’ potential and their provision is at the heart of what we do.

Novus delivers English and maths education in prisons from Entry Level 1 to Level 3 and opportunities to progress beyond. This also includes specialist ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) provision.

Why do adults in prison need English, Maths and Digital Skills Education?

English, maths and digital skills are crucial requirements for successful continued employment in modern society, however many adults in custody have low abilities in these areas which can make it difficult to find employment opportunities without turning to crime. 

By improving their confidence and ability in English, maths, and essential digital skills, we help learners close their skills gaps so they can find and retain work that keep them from re-offending post release. 

How does our English, Maths and Digital Skills Education work?

Flexible reduction methods

Our English, maths and digital skills education is flexible and responsive to the needs of the prisons and establishments we work in. We offer dynamic and creative delivery options that work in a prison environment to engage our learners and meet the priorities of our service delivery partners. This includes multi-media learning programmes, distance learning, blended classroom based delivery with remote self-directed learning, collaborative group based learning, digitally enabled, and partner-supported delivery.

Passionate teachers

Our prison education programmes are designed, delivered and supported by our highly skilled and passionate teachers who are able to engage learners. Our educators work to counter negative perceptions or past experiences of education through stimulating, exciting and innovative lesson content that is accessible to all learners.

We aim to help develop their problem solving and learning skills and motivate them to pursue higher levels of education.  

Digital education delivery

Our learners’ digital literacy and related skills are developed through digitally- enabled provision, encouraging ownership and autonomy that will serve them outside of custody. We are equipping them to become digital citizens, developing transferable skills to enhance their employability, which will support their integration back into their communities and new workplaces.

We are investing in the digital upgrade of our 43 Prison Education Framework (PEF) establishments to create an accessible, digitalised learning and working environment. Our digital transformation project will provide our colleagues with improved, ready and easy access to the resources and tools on Virtual Campus, enabling them to be more efficient and responsive in their curriculum planning and lesson development.

'Sam’s' digital transformation

At the start of her time at HMP New Hall, ‘Sam’ did not know how to turn on a computer. She had no idea how to begin working with technology and feared this would hinder her chances of getting a job upon release.

Since studying IT with Novus, Sam has gone from strength to strength. She has achieved her Level 1 and 2 qualifications and has even become a peer partner and classroom mentor.

Not only did she familiarise herself with technology, she also gained qualifications in Kitchen Preparation, Health & Safety and Level 1 and 2 Maths and English. 

A classroom with desks