HMP Rye Hill, Work and education

Education is run in conjunction with The Manchester College and the prison endeavours to encourage, motivate and support all prisoners by enabling them to take responsibility for their own learning and training whilst extending their personal development on either a full-time or part-time basis.

All prisoners are seen on arrival by the Information Advice & Guidance team who will assess individual needs and ensure prisoners are enrolled onto suitable courses.  Qualifications on most courses are offered from Entry Level through to Level 3.  Prisoners joining education will attend a specific induction and welcome session to ensure they receive all relevant information to help progress their learning journey.  The Information Advice & Guidance team meet with prisoners by request at any point throughout the learning journey to review progress and revise targets.  Careers advice is also available.  All prisoners receive a personalised timetable that reflects individual needs and aspirations.

Prisoners are offered the opportunity to improve literacy, numeracy, language and IT skills.  A range of Media and Business courses is also available.  Social and Life Skills courses which support personal development are offered on a flexible basis to meet prisoners’ needs as identified through assessment and sentence plans.  These include Art, Healthy Living, Personal Finance, Alcohol Awareness and Stress Management.

Progression to higher level qualifications including degrees is available through open and distance learning courses. A dedicated member of staff is available to support prisoners on external courses.

All prisoners have access to relevant and up to date learning resources either in class or through the
prison library.

In recognition of the wide diversity of backgrounds in the prison population, the Education Department promotes an ethos of mutual respect and is committed to providing equality of opportunity for all prisoners who engage in learning.  Any individual support needs will be accommodated to the best of our ability to maintain prisoners’ development.  A fair code of conduct is in place to ensure standards are maintained and prisoners are able to study in a safe environment.

Classes are provided for mainstream prisoners on the main education block and vulnerable prisoners have classes on their units.  Prisoners at work can also attend drop-in sessions in the workshop learning pods.  Outreach tutors provide learning support as required to the Care and Segregation Unit, Healthcare and in-cell.

A dedicated team of qualified staff is headed up by the Education Manager.  Prisoners are trained as Peer Mentors to provide additional learning support. The Education Department operates from Monday to Friday, with additional provision of evening and weekend classes on a flexible basis.

All prisoners have Individual Learning Plans which support progress through a regular target setting and review process by mutual agreement between the tutor and prisoner.  Further to this, we recognise and record prisoners’ personal achievements which may not result in accreditation but can highlight areas of personal success which demonstrate skills and attributes valued by employers.

Exams are taken at a level appropriate to each prisoner’s ability on an on-demand basis.  Some courses are accredited on portfolio work either as well as or instead of an exam.  HMP Rye Hill is an approved centre to deliver qualifications for the following awarding bodies: OCR, AQA, Trinity, OCN, City & Guilds, IFS, NIAT
and NCFE.

The following is a brief overview of the courses delivered by The Manchester College.

Information Technology: In computer classes prisoners will be offered a course relevant to current skill levels. Courses include EDCC (beginners word processing), CLAiT, CLAiT +, Key Skills and I Media. Courses range from Entry Level to Level 3. Workshop sessions cater for mixed ability groups.

English and Mathematics: In these subjects prisoners will work towards achieving the Adult Certificates in Literacy and Numeracy. The aim is to help develop the basic skills required in everyday situations and to build both self-confidence and esteem. Following initial and diagnostic assessment of literacy and numeracy skills, prisoners are enrolled onto courses to suit their individual abilities and aims. Courses range from Entry Level to Level 3.

Dedicated ESOL accredited provision is offered to support the learning needs of Foreign National prisoners at the appropriate level.

Social and Life Skills. A range of courses are available: Personal development,  Healthy living,  Improving assertiveness and decision making,  Preparation for Work and Employability Skills, Stress Management, Alcohol Awareness, Personal Finance/ Budgeting and Money Management

Courses are delivered as either short course stand-alone modules or longer integrated courses. Provision is flexible and delivered to meet the needs of the population. Courses range from Entry Level to Level 3.

Art, Craft and Design: Art, Craft and Design is taught in a well-equipped studio. Based on demand, courses offered are: Painting and Drawing, Sculpture – Mixed Media, Graphic Design Illustration, Ceramics and Pottery, – Art History, Critical Studies.

All courses cover practical work and aspects of art and design.  Prisoners will explore different methods of producing their own artwork whilst considering work that other artists have produced.  Courses range from Entry Level to Level 3 and groups cater for mixed abilities. The therapeutic benefits of art are recognised towards a prisoner’s personal well being.

Key Skills: Developing Key Skills is an important area of study and prisoners have the opportunity to gain qualifications that are nationally recognised, highly valued by employers and welcomed by all colleges in the United Kingdom. Upon completion of the course prisoners will receive a certificate. Key Skills offered are: Information and Communication Technology,  Application of Number, Communication, Improving Own Learning and Performance, Problem Solving, Working With Others

Courses may be delivered as discrete courses or embedded into other provision. Courses range from Entry Level to Level 3.

Business and Media Studies: Increasing employability is a key focus within education and the following courses are delivered with a view to enhancing career opportunities.  Courses offered are: Radio Production – prisoners working on the radio course will be offered the opportunity to develop practical   skills by working on and producing material to broadcast on the Prison Radio- ‘Captive Radio.’, Journalism – prisoners enrolled on the journalism course are encouraged to write articles for the prison   magazine, which is produced by the prisoners as part of the course work, I Media – this course provides an opportunity for prisoners to work with current digital technology in order to   maintain up to date knowledge and skills, Business Enterprise – this course allows prisoners to explore the possibilities for self-employment upon   release. Courses range from Entry Level to Level 3.

College Unit: The College Unit is a unit set up to support learners on external courses. Prisoners may choose to work towards an Open University or other distance learning qualification or be in full time or part time education.  The college unit has a number of additional resources, as well as a dedicated member of the education staff who is based on the Unit.

Vocational Training. HMP Rye Hill endeavours to provide prisoners with a variety of relevant vocational training opportunities to increase prospects of employment on release. Vocational training is managed by G4S.

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