Prisoners’ Education Trust

At Prisoners' Education Trust (PET), we believe every prisoner should have the opportunity to turn their life around through education.  

Since 1989, we have provided courses, advice and guidance to people in prisons across England and Wales – equipping them with the skills and qualifications needed to build brighter futures.
From GCSE's and vocational courses to the start of degrees, our courses are proven by the Ministry of Justice to reduce the chances of someone returning to prison, and increase their chances of finding work.
Through the personal accounts of the people we fund, we know that education has a positive effect on mental health and self-confidence. It can improve relationships with family members and help create a more positive prison environment.
As the UK’s leading prison education charity, we use our voice to champion the importance of education and advocate for system-wide improvements to make the most of education's potential for prisoners, their families and society as a whole.


Last updated on 29 January 2021

Who is eligible?

Before applying, learners should meet the following criteria:

  • Be resident in a prison in England or Wales
  • Have six months or more left to serve on their sentence
  • Have gained Level 2 English and/or Maths, or the equivalent
  • Not be studying another PET course at the same time

If the applicant matches our criteria, PET looks to fund those who can show:

  • Previous educational participation and achievement
  • Commitment to completing their chosen course
  • A clear idea of how the course will benefit them

What we can't help with

Under prison rules, people who have committed certain offences cannot complete certain courses.

How to apply?

The prison education department should complete PET's application form. The application should be endorsed by a member of staff and include a letter from the prisoner.  

Each prison should have a nominated point of contact, who helps support prisoners’ applications to PET. If you do not have a point of contact, or wish to inform us of a change in staffing, please get in touch with the Access to Learning Team.

The Trust considers applications monthly.

Other information

Please note: PET aims to fund everyone who meets our criteria. However, due to funding restrictions we occasionally have to turn suitable people down. We appreciate this will cause disappointment for both staff and students. We will endeavour to explain our decision fully and to suggest applying again in the future, where appropriate.


Contact details

Prisoners' Education Trust
The Foundry, 17 Oval Way,
SE11 5RR

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