Learning for Women in Prison

NIACE carried out research into learning and skills provision in women’s prisons under the programme of work funded by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.This report focuses on examples of good practice currently evident from the research.

The research took place at a time of change; prisons across England were introducing the new OLASS 4 contracts and adjusting to the policy steer laid out in Making Prisons Work (2011) – with an emphasis on both learning and skills for employment. This report looks at how learning is key to responding positively to the issues and circumstances faced by women in prison and how programmes have been successful in progressing the learning for work and the reducing reoffending agendas.

The main body of the report is divided into five parts, each focusing on a different theme: the particular and complex needs of women in prison; supporting transitions; learning for progression; learning for employment; and working creatively with partners. These themes reflect the range of needs of women in prison. Each section includes a summary of research and policy evidence, principles of good practice and an in depth case study of current practice.