Keep Calm I’m A Teacher


Weston College expands offender learning delivery to include teacher training.

Having successfully delivered teacher training qualifications for our own staff teaching in prisons, Weston College OLS has now expanded its delivery to include both prison service instructors and prisoners.

Having secured funding from the Education training Foundation, Weston first piloted delivery of the Award in Education and Training to prison instructors across the South West in 2016. Instructors from all prisons were invited to attend and, following its success and in light of the Dame Sally Coates review, expansion of the delivery was secured.

A second group of 28 instructors was established in 2017-18 and successfully enabled prison instructors to gain their first teaching qualification. With continued funding in place, 7 more have been enrolled already for the next cohort and places are still being offered across the region.

With the course being so popular for prison service staff, we felt it only right to expand this opportunity to prisoners themselves and linking into ETF’s “Rehabilitation in Action” project we have established a further course delivering the same qualification to prisoners. Prisoners can apply for the course and, alongside the prison Offender Management Units, we screen the prisoners to ensure they are appropriate to participate in terms of offending history. Groups have been established at HMP Eastwood Park, HMP Channings Wood and HMP Erlestoke and so far 10 learners have successfully achieved this initial teacher training qualification.

Following completion, celebration events have been held at each prison for the successful learners. They are able to invite friends and families, who have attended, and successful prisoners received their certification and goodie bags to celebrate their success.


“I really enjoyed the course and would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in teaching. There is a lot of work and commitment for the course, but I must say it is worth every minute, once you have achieved the qualification.”

“Thank you. A huge massive thank you to everyone involved in me being able to complete this.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity and have developed skills that I will take forward, skills that can be applied to everyday life – not just the classroom.”