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Weston College and HM Prison Services Case Study

ILM Endorsed Management Programme 

Overview and Need

Weston College is the main provider of Offender Learning working in partnership with all the prisons in the South West. Having accessed some funding to develop the skills of aspiring and new managers working for a range of stakeholders, they were keen to find a training partner, who could create a programme which was tailored to their specific context and which provided a forum to explore and support enhanced partnership working.

It was also important for them to provide these managers with recognition for their learning and to work with a provider who could meet quite challenging turnaround times!


We worked with Chris Emmett, Director of Strategy for Offender Learning and her team to run an ILM endorsed programme, consisting of two modules and a work based assignment, covering key management skills and set very much in an offender learning context.

Three groups of managers were drawn from ten different prisons and four partnership organisations - Weston College, HMPS, N-ergy and NCS.  The managers found the programme invaluable in giving them a chance to share experiences, discuss challenges and identify actions to implement together.

37 managers passed their assignments and completed the programme, with one manager commenting “There was a relaxed and informal atmosphere and it was excellent to work with a small number of my peers from the wider college network - something we rarely get the chance to do. The course content was engaging and relevant and it was clear that all participants were keen to get involved too - this helped to create energy and purposefulness.”
With Weston’s responsive and supportive team, our facilitator Heather’s wealth of sector knowledge and Focal Point’s experience of running ILM endorsed programmes, it was a real example of great partnership working!

Chris commented “All participants were adamant that they had benefited from this programme. The attendees were all enthusiastic about utilising the skills they had developed to improve their operational leadership and management. The delivery promoted partnership working and those involved considered that this greater understanding supported closer working relationships with different stakeholders and would have a positive impact on efficiency and successful outcomes for offender learning.”