The women who are serving out sentences at Downview Prison can produce their own TV programmes which are broadcast on the in-cell TV system, whilst in HMP Wandsworth inmates operate their own radio station, Radio Wanno. Both initiatives are down to Media for Development, one of many not-for-profit organisations working in the UK’s prison system today.

The women who are serving out sentences at Downview Prison can produce their own TV programmes which are broadcast on the in-cell TV system, whilst in HMP Wandsworth inmates operate their own radio station, Radio Wanno. Both initiatives are down to Media for Development, one of many not-for-profit organisations working in the UK’s prison system today.

Media for Development have operated in Wandsworth for the last four years and Downview for two, running ongoing programmes in all aspects of media production for small groups of learning offenders. Mahua Nandi, Operations Director with Media for Development explains: “We work with learners to help them produce their own stories to broadcast. As well as media production, they also learn a wider range of skills such as leadership and teamwork.”

Participants don’t need any formal qualifications to take part on the programme but they have to demonstrate a willingness to learn and a commitment to see the project through.

“Typically, participants hit a wall three or four weeks in when they realise its much more than just recording a music programme,” says Mahua. “They have to plan ahead and prepare content and it’s then they realise the hard work involved. Those on the course find it a challenge and they enjoy that. At the end they have a concrete product to show for it at the end, something for their peers to see or hear and comment on.”

She adds that the course is not just about giving them training in media production and that they are not expecting all the participants to go out and get a job in television or media at the end of it. “Taking part in the experience gives the participants confidence and self-worth which they might not have experienced through formal education.”

That said, some graduates from the training programme at Downview have the opportunity to move on to a work placement with Inside Job, Media for Development’s production company, once they get on to the resettlement wing. The women are allowed out on day release to work as production assistants at the Inside Job offices. There they get to experience a normal busy media workplace. “Inside Job is a commercial production company, producing media for a wide variety of clients. Typical work is producing corporate DVDs.”

Media for Development are now looking to expand into other prisons. They recently ran a training programme in the juvenile estate with a course for learners to develop short films and animations. “That was a real eye opener for the participants,” says Mahua. “These young people undergo 30 hours of education a week, 50 weeks per year so something like this – practical and hands-on - is refreshing for them. It’s just as good a way to impart skills as more formal learning. Many participants haven’t had good experience with formal education in the past but in this programme they are gaining a high level of communication skills through talking and presenting.”


Media for Development are also putting together a plan to expand into more prisons around London and the South East. Mahua says: “If we get feeder prisons involved then there would be more continuity in training for participants for the duration of their sentence. People would then have access to the course throughout the system.”

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The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

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Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

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If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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