Looking ahead: New priorities for the Prisoner Learning Alliance

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12 November 2020

Ian Cuthbert 2017

Thank you to everyone who submitted ideas and comments about our work over the next two years.  It was great to read your suggestions. Following input from PLA members and  discussions with our steering committee, we are pleased to announce our new key work streams.

Our key areas of work will be:

  • Digital technology
  • Curriculum development
  • Monitoring and evaluation.

Digital Technology

Unsurprisingly, our members felt that we should continue our focus on digital technology and promoting better access for prisoners. We are delighted that 12 members have joined the working group so far and will be sharing their ideas and expertise. We will advocate for a national approach to digital in prisons, including in cell devices.

For more detailed information about PLA’s recommendations on how HMPPS could implement digital technology to support prison education, see our Digital Divide briefing.

Curriculum development

PLA members identified a number areas  of the curriculum which needed developing. Some of the most common themes were:

  • Better support for the arts and a higher status for creative activities in prisons
  • Ensuring better access to externally-recognised qualifications, including GCSEs and A-Levels
  • Shorter class lengths to promote engagement
  • A more inclusive and diverse curriculum, including one which meets the needs of learners with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities.

Monitoring and Evaluation

We will continue to monitor the impact of the 2019 changes to education contracts including the commissioning tool (the DPS). Currently very little face-to-face education is happening in prisons. This makes out role in holding the prison service to account even more relevant and important.

We will continue to monitor the impact of regime changes related to Covid, and access to education through lockdown, recovery and beyond.

Get involved

If you are interested in any of these areas, please do consider joining a working group. We are currently looking for chairs or co-chairs and members to take each of these work streams forwards. Chairs’ responsibilities will include helping to steer the direction of our work, joining the secretariat and PLA Chair to attend external meetings, and chairing working group meetings. Please contact info@prisonerlearningalliance.org.uk if you have any questions or would like to get involved.

 

© Prisoner Learning Alliance 2020

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