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The benefits of collaborative learning are clearly outlined in educational discourse, including: increased achievements, widening knowledge, improvement in teamwork skills and deeper critical thinking (Barkley et al., 2014; McGlynn & Kelly, 2018; Novotny et al., 1991; Wilson et al., 2018). Loes et al. (2018), however, suggest that there are contrastingly few studies that focus on collaborative learning within further and higher education; while in my experience, as a teacher within custodial education, there is even less research exploring collaborative learning within custodial education.

Prison literature within England and Wales strongly suggests that education plays a key role in improving the employability chances of prisoners upon release and in turn reduces reoffending (Coates, 2016; MoJ, 2022). Yet, the estimated cost of reoffending is £15 billion per annum (House of Commons, 2022). If custodial education in England and Wales is a governmental priority when considering methods to reduce reoffending, then why is there such limited educational research exploring teaching practice and effective learning methods within a custodial setting?

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