Three learners, Adam, Goss and Guy, who have experienced Milton Keynes College Offender Education schemes share their experiences. They explain how education helped them to change their perspectives, accept responsibility and look towards the future.
“Given a life sentence early in 2007, I was all but written off. Fast forward eight years and I am sitting in my cell with a first class honours degree proudly displayed on the wall, years of consistent ‘model’ prisoner behaviour behind me and a progressive transfer imminent as I work towards release. During many solitary hours of work – tough to motivate myself for in the early days, I found in myself qualities hitherto unsuspected: discipline, perseverance, determination and the harder I tried, the better my results; my confidence grew and the world began to look different.”
One student, Goss, began his learning journey at level 1. Goss has gained qualifications in Maths, IT and Bricklaying and is shortly due to begin studying for a Level 3 Diploma in Painting and Decorating after he secured funding via a Student Loan. Once completed, Goss will have achieved an industry recognised qualification in painting and decorating, significantly improving his chances of employment post release.
“My education background was troubled – I left school with no academic qualifications after being expelled. As a result, studying for a degree was overwhelming in the beginning. The knowledge and understanding of myself, gained through the degree has allowed me to take responsibility for my past. Looking forward, I believe this insight has been a life-changing step in the right direction. On the whole, it has been a positive, uplifting and unforgettable experience. Education has been instrumental in changing my perspectives and the way I see the world and myself within it. The only thing that makes me the same person is I have the continuation of memories from my past. Education and being awarded a degree makes me look to the future. For anyone who is thinking of studying, it is never too late. All you need is the will and determination to succeed.”