The Prisoners’ Education Trust

The London School Trust has supported the Prisoners’ Education Trust (PET) since 2014: offering prisoners hope and helping them rejoin society with improved future prospects. The PET was founded in 1989 and provides funding and advice to prisoners so that they can follow distance learning courses in subjects that would not otherwise be available. The money we donate supports the Access to Learning Programme which is increasingly popular: to date it has funded nearly 40,000 courses and data shows that the work the PET does reduces the risk of prisoners reoffending by 25% and increases the likelihood of offenders successfully finding work by 26%.

Learners report that as well as education, studying brings them other benefits, such as an increased sense of well-being and better self-esteem, a more positive and hopeful prison environment, and improved family relationships.

One of the programme’s beneficiaries was Frank, who, before the programme, had spent 30 years in and out of prison. Taking a course with the PET gave him the confidence he needed to get a job, the first job he had ever had. More than that, it enabled him to see his own potential and form a more positive identity. Frank says:

“I’ve always been a taker but now I’m a giver – to my family; I have sons and grandchildren – I also give to the wider community through the mentoring I do. It’s allowed me to join in society and to give something genuinely back.”

As he entered his final year of his degree, Frank credited his education as an absolutely integral part of his ongoing ability to distance himself from criminal activity, saying it simply wouldn’t have been possible without the support of his teachers, prison staff and charities like the PET.

As he entered his final year of his degree, Frank credited his education as an absolutely integral part of his ongoing ability to distance himself from criminal activity, saying it simply wouldn’t have been possible without the support of his teachers, prison staff and charities like the PET. 

A video that prisoners made with their children about the transformative power of education can be seen below.

Find out more about The Prisoners' Education Trust on their website here.

Find out more about The London School Trust, and the projects it supports here.

Taking a course with the PET allowed Frank to see his own potential and form a more positive identity.


All articles Next article

Post your questions and comments: