Education in South West prisons

Weston College has been awarded the contracts to deliver education to thousands of offenders in 19 prisons across the South of England.

The three contracts were awarded under the Prison Education Framework (PEF) and are worth £15.7 million over four years. The contracts cover prisons in Avon and South Dorset (including South Gloucestershire and Somerset); Devon and North Dorset (including Cornwall); and Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

We deliver nationally recognised qualifications and a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities to thousands of offenders. We focus on transformational learning and raising aspirations, ensuring that education packages meets the needs of offenders when they complete their sentence.

Read more about prison education at Weston College here.

Prisons we deliver to

Weston College provides a wide ranging curriculum to ten prisons in the South West of England.

Currently Weston delivers a wide range of academic and vocational subjects in two local prisons and eight training prisons in the South West. The curriculum varies in each of the prisons based on learners' needs and local Labour Market Information.

During our time working with prisons we have prided ourselves on developing outstanding teaching and learning which has been recognised in Ofsted reports across the region and ultimately with HMP Leyhill achieving an Ofsted Outstanding grade in 2016. 

prison map

Principal's Update

Offender Learning is a major catalyst for change in Prison Education. At Weston College we have taken all of the themes emerging from the current OLASS4 contract and have enhanced them to create the mission, values and objectives that underpin all the work we do in the sector.

Our work in this field both from the perspective of supporting learners to achieve and to ensure inclusive learning environments has been recognised nationally. The accolades include the first Beacon award for Offender Learning in the UK plus the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education, specialising in the inclusive learning agenda.

Enabling our learners to gain the qualifications they need to progress after serving their sentence is paramount to what we do. The quality and type of qualification is also key to success. We are Ofsted ‘Outstanding’, a TES ‘College of the Year’ and TES ‘Training Provider of the Year’. These accolades combined with the Investors in People Gold and Champion status ensure not only that we are the best but that we place engagement, learning and outcomes at the heart of all we do.

Dr Paul Phillips,

CBEPrincipal & Chief Executive

Jobs - could you teach in prisons?


Viv Holloway

Assistant Curriculum Manager, HMP Channings Wood

Offender Learning offers a variety of roles, challenges and rewards. From teaching through to senior management, the challenges are demanding but the most rewarding I have had in all of my career. Starting as a teacher in 2002, I have seen many changes within offender learning; however, the ethos has always been the same – the learner comes first. 

Putting the learner first can, at times, be difficult within the prison environment. At Weston College we ensure we engage the learner from the time they come into the prison. Each learner is an individual with individual learning experiences, many being disaffected and not attending school from a young age. Part of the skill working in offender learner is to appease their fear of learning. 

If you have the ability to be creative, and inspire learners as well as delivering outstanding quality lessons, then you would gain personally as well as professionally by taking on a role in offender learning.If you have first-class skills in problem solving, clear communication skills and also a never ending supply of patience, then this is the place for you.


Click here to view Weston College current job vacancies

forward futures

Forward Futures

Forward Futures is Weston College’s in-house recruitment agency, which offers assignments to those interested in teaching within the prisons on an ad-hoc basis. Assignments can be for sickness or holiday cover and occasionally short-term on-going delivery on a particular course.

Whether you’re new to Further Education or just looking for a change, then Forward Futures can offer advice and guidance, keep you updated with all the latest positions and offer competitive rates of pay.

To find out more about the exceptional opportunities that could come your way contact us now.

Our current vacancies are available at:

Forward Futures
Knightstone Road
​North Somerset
BS23 2AL

Telephone: 01934 411 661

Click here to view Forward Futures current job vacancies

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