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HoFC: Education Skills and Work (HMP Elmley)

Category : Government
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Location : Ashford (Kent)
Salary : £ 42,626 - £ 51,154
Type : Fixed Term
Closing Date : 2022-04-28
Date Posted : 2022-04-24
Reference : 54668  

We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.

This is initially a 12 month fixed term role until September 2023; but there is a strong possibility of permanency. The role is also available as a secondment opportunity for suitable candidates

Overview of the job

This is a functional management job within an establishment.

The Reducing Reoffending Directorate are seeking to trial a new prison-based role focused on supporting efforts to reduce reoffending by introducing a Head of Education, Skills and Work.

This is either an operational or non-operational job with line management responsibilities. If operational, please see technical requirements.


The Specialist Senior Leadership role will support the prison to become a place of meaningful work with a key focus on leading education, skills and work within the prison.

This will require the job holder to work with prison industries and local private enterprise to make the most appropriate use of workshops to provide prisoners with the learning and skills required to compete for and achieve employment within the local labour market.

The job holder will provide a strategic focus on learning, skills and qualifications in all areas of “Education, Skills and Work”, ensuring that sequencing of activities is purposeful and directed towards maximising prisoners’ opportunities to access employment, education and training on release.

As a member of the Senior Management Team (SMT), the job holder will contribute and implement their Function’s objectives as defined in the establishment’s Business Plan.

Responsibilities, Activities and Duties

The job holder will be required to carry out the following responsibilities, activities and duties:

To lead and set strategic direction for all of education, skills and work within the prison. This to include:

  • creating effective approaches to learning and teaching in line with HMPPS’education vision and values, as well as regional and national directives;
  • embedding a culture which creates a golden thread between all education, skills and work provision within the prison;
  • ensuring delivery of services engage students and those undertaking prison work effectively in their own learning to achieve success; and,
  • accountable for performance, using data and monitoring to improve delivery in the full range of education, skills and work provision.

Accountable for managing the quality of education, skills and work (ESW) provision using Ofsted’s Education Inspection Framework criteria (evaluation of the curriculum, intent, implementation and impact):

  • Intent: Extent to which the current education, skills and work curriculum is sufficiently ambitious and appropriate to meet the needs of prisoners and the local labour market;
  • Implementation: How assessment of prisoners’ needs, and the curriculum offer are delivered, including the support available for prisoners with neurodiverse needs.
  • Impact: Outcomes of curriculum offer, including but not limited to accredited qualifications, any known post release job outcomes and impact of careers information, advice and guidance services

Accountable for the development of the Education, Skills and Work strategy and delivery against related pathways at local level in line with national frameworks and guidance. This to include the planning and reviewing of curriculum to meet learner needs, Ofsted expectations and so that it aligns with local labour market. Also, to include seeking out opportunities to embed education and training beyond the classroom in prison workshops and other places prisoners undertake work.

Accountable for the management of Education, Skills and Work Functions and all staff within this area. Ensuring all managers and staff provide a respectful, safe and decent environment for all prisoners and staff. Responsible for the development of all staff within the function, developing and maintaining a culture of high expectations and taking appropriate action when performance is unsatisfactory. Staff and functions will likely include but not be limited to:

  • Education
  • Neurodiversity
  • Activities
  • Employment
  • Industries
  • Gymnasium
  • Farming & Gardens

Support the Learning and Skills Manager and Industries Manager to discharge their duties to enable the education and industries contract and provide level one assurance. This to include:

  • Understanding needs of prison population and commission suitable education in line with ESW intent
  • Accountable for prisons educational outcomes and responsible for the day to day enablement and performance management of the contract at site level
  • Responsible for quality assurance (learner walks and teaching observations), monitoring supplier delivery, performance data and financial reconciliation at site level.
  • Also, to include enabling DPS provision and access by commissioned providers.

To also include oversight of other education, skills and work staff responsible for locally contracted delivery.

Strategic lead responsible for creating a prisoner education service focused on work- based training and personal development pathways. This to include promoting, planning and coordinating the regime to maximise purposeful activity.

Developing and maximising relationships with New Futures Network, Probation service, Community Rehabilitation Service providers and other partners etc regarding education and employment for those leaving the prison.

Accountable for the proportion of prisoners in employment 6 weeks post release. This includes delivery through:

  • Ensuring the prison has an effective working relationship with the New Futures Network broker for the region/prison group. Creating effective sector-based training opportunities and recruitment pipelines in relationship with the New Futures Network and suitable employment partners.
  • Developing and supporting a Quality Improvement group with employment focused agencies, including the Prison Employment Lead, IAG services, DWP Prison Work Coaches, the education provider and other non-statutory agencies such as charities and social enterprises.

Where appropriate and within eligible establishments, support the Governing Governor to maximise and develop further Released On Temporary License (ROTL) opportunities for prisoners assessed as suitable to enter community-based work or training. This should be within the existing ROTL framework and be aimed at increasing employment on release.

Support the Industries Manager to enable the delivery of prison industries, New Futures Network and local private enterprise work within prison workshops. This to include consideration of financial implications and relationship management. Where possible, working to embed curriculum within established systems of work to provide prisoners with the learning and skills required to compete for and achieve meaningful, sustained employment on release.

Accountable and Point of Contact for ensuring actions arising from Standard Audit, Her Majesty Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP), OFSTED/Estyn, Action Plans and Managing Quality of Prison Life (MQPL) surveys, including local Self Audit action plans and resettlement strategies are delivered. Nominee for the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) inspections for educational delivery and will be part of the assessment team. Ensure all the necessary preparation for internal and OFSTED audits is completed in a timely manner.

Dependant on operational experience will undertake some or all other operational management tasks including but exclusively :

  • Act as the Governor's representative by chairing adjudications and taking charge of day-to-day establishment operations as Duty Governor
  • Promote Prison Service policy in all activities and behaviours e.g. promote diversity, decency, safety, diversity and inclusion and reducing re-offending agendas

The duties/responsibilities listed above describe the post as it is at present and is not intended to be exhaustive. The job holder is expected to accept reasonable alterations and additional tasks of a similar level that may be necessary. Significant adjustments may require re-examination under the Job Evaluation Scheme and shall be discussed in the first instance with the job holder.

An ability to fulfil all spoken aspects of the role with confidence through the medium of English or (where specified in Wales) Welsh.


  • Leadership
  • Working Together
  • Changing and Improving
  • Making Effective Decisions


  • Challenger
  • Resilient


  • Demonstrable evidence of innovation and impact in an educational context
  • Strong written and excellent verbal and non-verbal communication skills.


Essential Criteria:

  • Experience of operating at a middle or senior level in a Primary, Secondary, or Post-16/Adult education setting; including community and voluntary sectors.
  • Detailed knowledge of OFSTED/Estyn’s EIF (Education Inspection Framework) and further education and skills criteria.
  • Experience of working collaboratively with a range of stakeholders including senior leaders, external organisations, staff and students.
  • Significant experience of developing and delivering effective and engaging curricula for a wide range of learners.
  • Experience of using data to set clear education outcomes and monitor progress towards these.
  • Experience of implementing change within an educational context.

Desirable Criteria:

  • Knowledge and understanding of how Ofsted/Estyn’s Education     Inspection Framework  apply to a prison setting.
  • Knowledge and understanding of OFSTED/Estyn’s further education and skills criteria for prisoners with Additional Learning Needs and how these apply in the prison context.
  • Experience of implementing strategies to support learners secure meaningful ‘next steps’ (e.g. further training, employment).

Please note: role holders may be required to complete further training once they take up post.


  • PGCE, Cert Ed or Level 5 in Education and Training.

If Operational

  • Must be successfully accredited by passing the Head of Function Assessment Centre (HFAC), or prior to 2016 be accredited as an Operational Manager (or in post as a G5 prior to 1999).
  • Where HFAC accreditation was gained from 2018, the Incident Management Silver Command (IMSC) assessment must also be passed to be eligible for operational Head of Function roles.
  • Successful completion of the workbook.
  • When transferring to a Young Persons establishment the job holder will be required to successfully undertake an assessment to demonstrate suitability to work with Young People.

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