PLA Briefings and Reports

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Read PLA reports, briefings and responses on key sector research and Government inquiries.

01 Feb 2018 | PDF | 354.25KB

Prisoner Learning Alliance briefing on decision not to extend National Careers Service (NCS) contracts in prisons

As of 31 March 2018, the contracts for National Career Service (NCS) in every prison in England expired. The decision was taken by the Ministry of Justice not to extend the service, with uncertainty as to what would replace it.

This briefing outlines concerns about the anticipated gap in provision from April 2018, and the hugely valuable role that NCS careers advisors have played in supporting prisoners' education and rehabilitation.

PLA Greenhouses not warehouses Workbook web version pages 1 page 001

25 Oct 2017 | Prisoner Learning Alliance | PDF | 3.28MB

Greenhouses not Warehouses: A guide to commissioning in prisons

Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLASS) contracts come to an end in April 2018, making way for a new era of prison governor-led education commissioning. Prisons are being given increasing flexibility and control over education budgets and the ability to commission a wide range of provision. The workbook is designed to support prison governors and managers with this process.

01 Jun 2016 | PDF | 1.41MB

What is prison education for? A theory of change exploring the value of learning in prison

Justice Secretary Michael Gove said in a speech to prison Governors: “We want individuals who leave prison to be changed characters [...] to have become assets contributing to society rather than liabilities who bring only costs.” But how does that ‘change’ process happen and what role can education play?

The Prisoner Learning Alliance (PLA) aims to stimulate debate around these issues. Using research with teachers and former prisoners, the report examines how we can measure the benefit of education in prison, and how we can improve its provision.

01 Mar 2014 | PDF | 242.88KB

Justice Select Committee, Inquiry into Prisons: Planning and Policies A response from the Prisoner Learning Alliance

Prisoners Education Trust and the PLA know that learning in prison works. This was recently evidenced in Justice Data Lab results, which showed a statistically significant (and sizeable) impact on reoffending levels from having received a PET grant for a distance learning course. This response therefore argue that the prison service needs to prioritise support for a wide range of learning opportunities in prisons and the response to the Committee’s questions are informed by that priority.

01 Dec 2013 | PDF | 3.87MB

Smart Rehabilitation: learning how to get better outcomes

To set out a blueprint for improving prison education, policy and practice,  PLA members formed three Task and Finish Groups and each group held an expert roundtable event to gather evidence from over 50 different practitioners, officers, teachers, managers, governors, organisations and learners to help inform the report.

The report was launched in Parliament on the 9th of December, 2013 where the Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick, gave a keynote speech outlining the importance of raising standards of education in prisons to achieve the best rehabilitation outcomes.

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