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Prisons: Education

Question for Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

UIN 15752, tabled on 10 November 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how many different (a) GCSE, (b) A-level and (c) NVQ subjects are available for prisoners to study through the Prison Service.

Answered on

16 November 2015

The Skills Funding Agency’s Learning Aim Reference Service (LARS) database provides a search facility for all fundable qualifications by learning aim, by academic year, including those fundable through the Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLASS) arrangements in adult prisons in England. All GCSE and A Levels subjects are available, alongside nearly 3,000 vocational qualifications covering all 15 current sector subject (‘NVQ’) areas.

In principle, learning towards any of those qualifications can be commissioned by the prison Governor when developing their establishment’s curriculum offer, though some subjects and qualifications may be excluded on grounds of practicality, and the availability of other subjects and qualifications may be restricted on an individual basis depending on the nature of the learner’s offence.

Answered by

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills