Higher Level and Distance Learning in Prison

Higher level learning provides men and women with a wider range of opportunities on release. Developing greater skills and knowledge gives them the chance to better compete with candidates in the community for jobs. Access to more job opportunities boosts confidence, self-belief and helps individuals to take new directions.

We want our learners to have access to all levels of education, supporting their aspirations and developing their individual learning 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.

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

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.

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.