What we do

"Making a change to your life comes down to opportunity. That's what I enjoyed about working with PET, because you give opportunity; you don't ask for anything. PET was just phenomenal, helping so many people. I am really positive now about mine and my family’s future. Education has opened so many doors for me and I can only thank the charitable donations and kind people who facilitate adult learning in prisons."

                                       - Ben, mechanic & former prisoner 

Prisoners' Education Trust (PET) works across England and Wales to support people in prison to study distance learning courses.

Funding transformative education

PET provides distance learning courses, arts and hobby materials, advice and support in every prison in England and Wales. Since our foundation in 1989 we have helped thousands of men and women in prison, providing advice and funding to around 2,500 prisoners each year to help them study courses in subjects and at levels not otherwise available. We also give prisoners funding for arts and hobby materials. Read our curriculum.

Pushing for progress

PET carries out research, informed by learners, to improve prison education. Our vision is that every prisoner should have the opportunity to benefit from education, and for that to happen, government policies must support learners and teachers. Our Resource Library includes the most up-to-date research and studies about prison education. 

Working with our learners

We believe that the learner should be at the heart of what we do. We want to learn from the experience and expertise of prisoners and former prisoners; involving them in co-production and decision making and empowering them tell their stories. 

Strength through collaboration

We are not the only organisation that understands just how transformative learning is for people in prison. In 2012 we brought together expert charities, research bodies, universities and businesses to launch the Prisoner Learning Alliance, which now has 23 members. In 2017, we set up PLAN (Prison Learning Academic Network) - which brings together experts in the prison education field; and PUPiL (Prison University Partnerships in Learning), which is the home for the growing number of prison/university partnerships across the UK.

Read about the impact of our work