@fifecollege - Prisoners in Scotland’s justice system have been encouraged to change their lives after participating in a UK wide arts programme.

Each year the Koestler Awards acknowledge inspiring pieces of art created by prisoners in the United Kingdom, with prizes handed out across 50 categories including Fine Art, Craft and Design, Performance and Audio, Film and Animation and Writing.

Fife College delivers learning in 13 centres located in Scottish Prison Service facilities throughout Scotland, and staff worked with learners in custodial settings to submit a range of creative works to the Awards, with a total of 513 entries submitted from all establishments.

Of these submissions, 224 pieces of art were recognised in categories such as stage play, film, poetry, fiction and singer songwriter works. In addition, visual arts were represented through drawing, sculpture, printmaking, calligraphy, and graphic design.

One-off craft and creative works such as woodcraft and handmade books also received a number of awards, and learners working digitally were also awarded through their computer-generated music making and hip-hop and rap recordings.

Entries are assessed by over 100 experts from different fields, with judges in recent years including Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and documentary-maker Louis Theroux.

Every entrant receives a participation certificate, and awards and prizes ranged from Platinum Awards of £100 to a first time entry award of £25 – all of which are allocated to local prison common good funds, where it is then discussed how the money should be best allocated to the benefit of all in custody.

Audrey Mitchell, who is the lead for Fife College’s work in prisons, said:

“It’s amazing to see how art can inspire our prison learners.

“Each year we work with hundreds of individuals in our prisons and encourage them to explore their creative side and submit an entry into the Koestler Awards.

“It can be whatever they choose – a painting, a sculpture, poetry, or even music that they’ve written or recorded.

“Our aim is to always use an individual’s time in prison to help inspire and encourage them down a different path.

“These awards are a great outlet for them, and we were delighted to see so many of them have their work recognised by the judging panel.

“Thanks also to all of our learning centre teams who continue to support and engage our learners through creative and innovative projects.”

One of the Platinum Award winners from HMP Glenochil said that entering the awards had built their confidence:

"One of my favourite parts in entering Koestler is the feedback cards. This builds your confidence and makes you want to do more.

"They encourage you to keep going as people enjoy your work, and you can keep the cards to reflect back on if you are having a bad day."

Another prisoner from HMP Glenochil was awarded the top prize after combining his poetry with the work of an illustrator:

"Poetry is often a lonely affair, so a project of collaboration between poets and illustrators was a fantastic innovation. I saw my piece brought to life through the eyes of another, offering new perspectives on what had become a joint creation.

"Bringing all of these endeavours into one beautifully crafted artefact is what artistic communication can truly be about."

A prisoner from HMP Greenock was given the Platinum Award for his stage play, and is now hoping it could be performed in the future:

“I was more surprised than anything else, it still hasn’t really sunk in yet.

"I have entered Koestler a few times over the years and just really like getting the feedback from them that’s my motivation to do it, to gain feedback from people who work within the creative industry.

"This year as well as the Koestler feedback, the Synergy Project in London had wanted to perform my stage play. I know that lockdown stopped that happening but maybe in the future it could.”


You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

AELP Events added a new event yesterday

Designated Safeguarding Lead Training in FE

Overview It is a statutory requirement for professionals meeting ‘robust 2-yearly training’ for those with a lead or designated professional role...

  • Thursday, 14 October 2021 09:30 AM
  • Online

Latest Education News

Further Education News

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.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

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 Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 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, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

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.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

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.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page