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Teaching within Offender Learning

Teaching offenders can be an extremely rewarding job. As a teacher, you will be assisting offenders in developing themselves and improving their chances of employment, which in turn reduces their chances of re-offending by 30%. However, teaching offenders is also challenging with no two days being the same

July 28, 2020

What will the learners be like? 

The prison population can be quite diverse. But as learners, your students may:

  • Have few or no previous qualifications
  • Display some challenging behaviours
  • Need support with Maths and English
  • Have a range of complex learning needs
  • Have personal and social problems

As a result, you will have to come up with flexible and creative teaching and learning methods to support their learning.

But (generally speaking), learners who enrol on a course, do so because they want to learn. We regularly her feedback from Tutors teaching in prisons that there is often less classroom management required and a greater focus on teaching practice.

Requirements to teach offenders

Personal skills:

Teaching offenders means that you will play a part in their rehabilitation programme. To be successful at this, you need to:

  • Be confident and organised
  • Have great communication skills
  • Be enthusiastic about your subject
  • Have good judgement and be able to create effective working relationships
  • Be flexible and innovative 

DBS and prison security checks:

To teach offenders, you will need to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. You will also need to pass any background and security checks required in order to work in prison.


You’ll need a recognised teaching qualification (or at least be prepared to work towards one). Qualifications include:

  • Level 3 Award in Education and Training
  • Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training
  • Level 5 Education and Training Diploma
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

You’ll also need:

  • Access to 100 hours of teaching practice. 
  • A level 3 vocational qualification in your subject area or trade

You may also need GCSE’s at grade 9-4 (A*-C), or equivalent, including English and Maths.

Ready to teach offenders?

If you’re interested in teaching offenders and would like more information on teaching opportunities in your area, get in touch today! Call us on 01179 296 200 or email