Monitoring Prison Education

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The Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLASS) contracts ended in March 2019, making way for a new era of governor-led education commissioning.

The Ministry of Justice’s new commissioning framework presents both challenges and new opportunities for providers, charities, colleges and others to deliver education services in prisons.

Most education is being provided through the Prison Education Framework contracts. Four providers have been commissioned to provide education under these arrangements. You can see a list of the providers and the prison lots they cover here. Education in Wales is provided through the prison service and some contracted out (private) prisons have different arrangements too.

The PLA is monitoring the new Prison Education Framework contracts to see whether they deliver better outcomes for learners. You can read our article about the new contacts here.

The Ministry of Justice also introduced the Dynamic Purchasing System. This is a commissioning system for governors who can use it to purchase small-scale education services.

We have recently carried out a survey with governors and senior prison service staff. We asked them whether how they thought the new PEF and DPS systems were working in their prisons. We will be producing a report soon.

Unlocking Potential – A Review of Prison Education: three years on

Three years ago, Dame Sally Coates published her influential review of prison education. You can read her report here.

But, how much progress has there been? Read our briefing to find out what has happened regarding the main recommendations in the Coates Report.

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