Education commissioning

Ministry of Justice Commissioning of New Prison Education Contracts

Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLASS) contracts come to an end in 2018, making way for a new era of prison governor-led education commissioning. Prisons are being given increasing flexibility and control over education budgets and the ability to commission a wide range of provision. 

To stay up to date with announcements on this fast-moving area of reform, sign up to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) online 'Sourcing Portal' here:


Greenhouses not Warehouses: Commissioning education to plant seeds of hope and opportunity

Governor-led commissioning is an exciting opportunity to increase engagement of prisoners in education, to improve outcomes for learners and achieve a whole-prison learning culture, which aligns closely with the PLA's vision. The PLA has produced a workbook, titled 'Greenhouses not Warehouses: Commissioning education to plant seeds of hope and opportunity', aimed at supporting governors and managers to plan and commission education in this new environment.

Read a summary and access the workbook in full via the following links:

'Greenhouses not Warehouses' (Four-page summary)

'Greenhouses not Warehouses' (Workbook)


Events and Resources

These changes will present procurement opportunities to a much wider range of organisations. The MoJ has been working to inform and consult this audience through a series of events. Events and resources so far include:

To stay up to date with future engagement events, sign up to the MoJ online 'Sourcing Portal' at this link.

The PLA has been summarising its key findings from some of these events - read more below:


Further Reading

The PLA has been calling for changes to prison education contracts since 2015, including in the briefing 'The Future of Prison Education Contracts: Delivering Better Outcomes'

The briefing outlined eight solutions which, with greater flexibility within the contracts, could enable prisons to achieve better rehabilitative outcomes. See also the following press release from the launch of the briefing in May 2015.