We have extensive experience offering a range of qualifications in the secure environment and have been chosen by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) as the sole Awarding Organisation to provide English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) to the secure environment.

This means that all ESOL qualifications taken within MoJ prisons in England must be done with Gateway Qualifications. Gateway Qualifications has delivered ESOL for over 15 years and has extensive experience working with providers in secure and community settings.

Our offender learning offer now includes qualifications in:

Webinar for administrators

Joe from our Customer Excellence team offers guidance on the registration process, our Direct Entry of Results feature, accessing assessment papers and more.

I want to run these qualifications

Complete our online form to enquire about running these qualifications and a member of our Business Development team will be in touch.


If you’re not yet a recognised centre, find out what’s required and discuss your requirements with our Business Development team.


Reasons to work with us in the Prison environment

Ideal for the secure environment

Our flexibly designed qualifications are ideal for a secure environment as they have been developed with accessibility at the core. This ensures learners are able to fulfil their potential. Our qualifications can also be embedded within vocational content, enabling learners to demonstrate their English skills whilst learning or participating in a practical skill.

Support for learners who move to another prison

Gateway Qualifications’ personalised service, excellent customer care and flexible approach ensures that learners are not disadvantaged if they move between prisons mid-way through the course, and makes the process as simple as possible for the learning providers too.

Inclusive approach to assessment

Nearly one-third of prisoners self-identify as having a learning difficulty and/or disability. Our ESOL qualifications minimise the need for reasonable adjustments and special considerations through an inclusive approach to assessment for all learners. Where reasonable adjustments and special consideration are required, Centres can authorise these for internally marked assessments (Entry Level 1 to Level 1) with applications to Gateway Qualifications only required for externally marked assessments at Level 2.

Gateway Qualifications has been incredible in conducting remote approval for sites and supporting us to get up and running within a couple of days.
Roxy Ball, Assistant Education Manager, HMP Ranby & Regional TE Lead, North Midlands Justice

Choosing ESOL qualifications

To help you choose the most appropriate qualification pathway for learners for whom English is a second (or even third or fourth) language we have put together this guide:

Why ESOL qualifications make sense for non-native English speakers

Free teaching and learning materials for the secure environment

Contextualised to the Prison environment, we have developed a set of support materials that provide examples of activities that support embedded learning. Covering Entry 1 – Level 2, each resource pack contains Introduction to Teaching and Learning Activities, and then Teaching and Learning Activities that covers 7 different units of work.  Find out more, including downloading a free sample.

Our ESOL qualifications

The full list of ESOL Qualifications approved by the Ministry of Justice for delivery under the contract.


Gateway Qualifications Entry Level Award In Introduction to English for Non-native Speakers (Entry 1)

Certificates in ESOL

Once a learner has successfully completed all three components, they will be awarded a certificate in ESOL Skills for Life at no additional charge. Certificates are awarded at the level of the lowest achieved component.