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RUL: Learning and Skills Standalone – 37772
£44,898 - £53,880


We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit:

Overview of the job

This is a strategic management job in a cluster model, where there is no overarching regional lead post. Cluster leads will be required to work together in a co-ordinated manner with minimal supervision.


The job holder will be the strategic senior lead for learning, skills and employment in all areas of activity within their cluster with a strong emphasis on employability,maximising prisoners’ opportunities to acess employment, education and training on release.

This is a job with line management responsibility for other new post holders within the cluster HoLSE model. These are envisaged as: (i) cluster business administrator and possibly (ii) project co-ordinator roles for new initiatives such as social enterprise.

Responsibilities,Activities and Duties

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

  • Accountable for providing strategic planning and development of all learning, skills and employability/employment services within the cluster and, through agreement with other cluster HoLSE(s), region. This includes the coordination of Offenders Learning and Skills Service (OLASS) 4 activity, whole prison curriculum development. social enterprise and employer engagement and liaison with community based learning providers
  • Accountable for the Management of the OLASS contract on behalf of the Deputy Director Custody (DDC) ensuring that the Prime Provider and any Sub Contractor(s) is/are delivering an innovative service that meets the needs of prisoners and prepares them for employment or further training in the areas where they will resettle
  • Accountable for the joint management of the OLASS Budget across the unit of procurement deploying funds to ensure an effective use of resources, directing investment to where it will have the greatest impact on reducing re-offending
  • Support the promotion of effective integration of OLASS into the Offender Management Model in each establishment
  • Provide updates to the Regional Senior Management Team (SMT) and Governors on the delivery of all OLASS and non-OLASS learning and skills provision within public sector prisons in the Region
  • Attend the Offender Skills and Employment (OSE) Board as required
  • Support the OSE Board through: Chairing the Performance and Planning Sub Group (on a rota basis with other cluster HoLSEs) and Cluster Local Offender Partnership group, or equivalents (note: terminology varies across regions)
  • Advise Senior Managers on all delivery developments across their region
  • Accountable for ensuring there is a strategy in place for sharing good practice within the cluster and region
  • Share good practice nationally and input into the development of national good practice when appropriate
  • Ensure effective communication channels are in place at establishment level.These are anticipated as: Governor/SMT, Head of Reducing Re-offending,Learning and Skills Manager, Activities Hub manager
  • Facilitate and support strong cluster partnership working among the National Careers Service (NCS), HMPPS CFO, Work Programme and other providers
  • Promote a Whole Organisational Approach to Functional Skills (English and Mathematics) at each establishment
  • Champion Continuous Personal Development (CPD) activities for establishment based managers and those involved in front line delivery, for example inspection training at appropriate intervals
  • Pro-actively lead and or encourage the OLASS provider to seek out and obtain mainstream and other funding opportunities to enhance the delivery of Learning and Skills opportunities for prisoners
  • Accountable for ensuring that there is multi-agency approach to ensure that effective use is made of the virtual campus to support the development of skills and as a route to employment and further training/learning
  • Accountable for the Facilitation of Regional partnership working with Skills Funding Agency (SFA), jobcentre Plus,LEP’s mainstream SFA providers and other key stakeholders, through close working relationship with other cluster leads
  • Accountable for cluster oversight of the planning implementation, quality assurance/improvement and development of all learning, skills and employability provision (OLASS, and all non OLASS provision) and ensuring consistency of approach with other clusters
  • Accountable for the management and Co-ordination of all governance structures and processes for OLASS to ensure that proper regional oversight and approval is in place for OLASS activities, in conjunction with other cluster leads.
  • Act as regional lead for specific initiatives, in agreement with other cluster HoLSE and Lead Governors
  • Manage the Learning and Skills Development Fund across all establishments in the Cluster
  • Produce the establishment and Cluster Self-Assessment Reports and Employability Strategies/3 Year Development Plans, with key qualitative and quantitative information provided by establishments
  • Lead the Cluster to ensure that there is a culture of continuous Quality Improvement for all OLASS and Non OLASS learning and skills activities, based on the OFSTED Common Inspection Framework and relevant HMIP expectations
  • Chair and monitor the Quality Improvement Groups in establishments in line with the OFSTED Common Inspection Framework
  • Act as the Ofsted Nominee in all prisons within the cluster
  • Facilitate and support strong cluster partnership working with National Careers Service (NCS) and learning and skills providers
  • Ensure that within the cluster there is a multi-agency approach to ensure that effective use is made of the virtual campus as a cost effective tool to support the development of skills and as a route to employment and further training/learning
  • Accountable for planning, implementation, quality assurance and development of all learning, skills and employability provision across the cluster (OLASS, and all non OLASS provision including prison, voluntary, and other providers/organisations)
  • Advise the SFA (and its NCS and learning and skills providers) on the local delivery needs of the cluster
  • Maintain an awareness of the integration and sequencing of all OLASS and non OLASS, learning, skills and employment provision across the cluster and its aligned within Offender Management arrangements, advising on changes where necessary
  • Accountable for ensuring that the delivery of all activities and learning is in accordance with HMPPS standards
  • Accountable for drawing in resources at cluster level including voluntary projects and funds to provide a range of appropriate activities to complement OLASS delivery for the benefit of learners to maximise employment activity for offenders
  • Support Governors in developing establishments in their region as places of meaningful work. Work with prison industries and private enterprise to make the most appropriate use of workshops to provide prisoners with the learning and skills they will need to compete for and achieve employment within the local labour market
  • Responsible for cluster and regional oversight of the Unit of Delivery allocation and advise the DDC on all matters relating to potential movement of recourses across clusters
  • Ensure that there is effective ‘Through the Gate’ provision for prisoners
  • being discharged back into the community

Undertake other management tasks including:

  • Promotes Prison Service policy in all activities and behaviours e.g. promotes diversity, decency, safety and reducing re-offending agendas
  • Provides leadership and management of the function. Will have the skills to apply all Human Resources (HR) related policies and practices and be able to carry out all aspects of people management such as attendance management, disciplinary investigations, performance management and staff appraisals
  • Oversee the compilation and achievement of any performance improvement programmes reporting on progress regularly as appropriate
  • Manage the appropriate authorisation of financial compliance statements Manage devolved budgets in accordance with the financial procedures outlined in the budget delegation
  • Ensure that the function produces and analyses audit and establishment performance management information identifying variances and areas requiring improvements
  • Accountable for all local and national policies relating to function, and ensure procedures implemented are compliant, including development of new policies
  • Contribute to the development and delivery of the medium-to-long term strategic and business plan for the establishment, with overall responsibility for implementation within their function
  • Attend relevant boards/meetings and actively contribute either as chair or team member
  • Work collaboratively and provide constructive challenge to colleagues to ensure that their own and other functions are joined up and together contribute towards the overall delivery of the establishments performance
  • Produce relevant reports as required and ensure all correspondence is replied to within agreed timescales
  • Carries out investigations and administration in relation to incidents of potential discrimination and reports on findings

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.


  • Changing and Improving
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Leadership
  • Working Together
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Managing a Quality Service

Essential Experience

  • Have a sound understanding of Ofsted Common Inspection Framework and Quality Assurance Processes and the role of the Ofsted Nominee
  • Prior knowledge and experience of working within the specific fields

Hours of Work (Unsocial Hours) Allowances

37 hour working week

Additional Information

This is a YCS HQ role in which the postholder will oversee the delivery of Education, Learning and Skills across the YCS public sector prisons (HMYOI Wetherby, HMYOI Werrington, HMYOI Feltham, and HMYOI Cookham). The role sits within Public Youth Operations within YCS but will work closely with the YCS contracts and commissioning team to ensure learning delivery against the YCS Education contract.

The Youth Justice Reform Programme within YCS includes education reform and pre covid, 2 of the public sector YOIs were piloting a new more flexible broader learning offer. Due to covid these pilots are on pause, however, as part of recovery from covid, YCS are currently considering how to build back better particularly in the education offer for children and young people across the estate. This is an exciting opportunity to improve and transform learning outcomes for children in custody and whilst this role leads on the business as usual delivery, it will also support the reform programme and recovery work. The postholder will line manager a new DPS (Direct Purchasing System) manager who will support the sites in bringing in a variety of organisations to deliver learning activity within the estate. It is desirable that the postholder has an education background.

Working Arrangements & Further Information

Some of MoJ’s, including HMPPS, terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on ‘modernised’ terms in their current post or onto ‘unmodernised’ MoJ terms if they are on ‘unmodernised’ terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.

Standard working hours for this post are 37 hours per week excluding breaks which are unpaid.

If you are a current NPS employee, this vacancy may be available on a Loan basis for up to 2 years. Applications are invited from suitable qualified staff.

The Loan/Secondment is subject to the approval of the selected candidate’s Business Unit, which should be obtained before confirmation of appointment.


Annual Leave

-The holiday year runs from 1 March. If you work a non standard work pattern your leave entitlement may be expressed in either hours or days as appropriate. Leave entitlement is calculated on a pro-rata basis and you will be advised of your actual entitlement on appointment. If you were appointed internally and your leave was previously calculated in days, this will continue to be the case.

Bank, Public and Privilege Holidays

You are entitled to 9 days (66 hours 36 minutes) in recognition of bank, public and privilege holidays. These hours are added to your annual leave allowance. There is a requirement to work some public and bank holidays subject to your shift pattern and the operational needs of the establishment


-The Civil Service offers a choice of two pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.

Work Life Balance

-HM Prison & Probation Service (HMPPS) is keen to encourage alternative working arrangements. Work life balance provides greater opportunities for staff to work more flexibly wherever managers and establishments can accommodate requests to do so. HMPPS offers flexible working subject to completion of a satisfactory probationary period and NVQ

Season Ticket Advance

-After two months’ service, you’ll be eligible to apply for a season ticket advance to purchase a quarterly or longer-period season ticket for travel between home and your place of work

Childcare Vouchers

For any moves across the Civil Service may have implications on your ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers


-HMPPS is committed to staff development and offers a range of training and development opportunities, including areas such as Equality and Diversity, Dealing with Challenging Behaviour, Suicide Prevention and Anti Bullying Programmes

-There are opportunities to access promotion programmes and HMPPS provide a variety of training appropriate to individual posts

-All staff receive security and diversity training and an individual induction programme into their new roles


-All candidates are subject to security and identity checks prior to taking up post

-All external candidates are subject to 6 months probation. Internal candidates are subject to probation if they have not already served a probationary period within HMPPS

-All staff are required to declare whether they are a member of a group or organisation which HMPPS considers to be racist

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity.

There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.