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How to Apply

There are two rounds of Frank Awards each academic year.  There are two closing dates each academic year for applying to us for a Frank Award: August 15 for OU module courses starting the following October;  and December 5 for modules starting the following February. The maximum award is equivalent to the cost of one full module.

Application forms are only available from the prison education department, the PET co-ordinator, from PET or the Open University Distance Learning Co-ordinator. You can also write for an application form to The Frank Awards, PET, The Foundry, 17 Oval Way, London SE11 5RR

The Longford Trust will handle the data contained in all application forms it receives – after they have been scrutinised by our partners at the Prisoners’ Education Trust – in line with the General Data Protection Regulations that came into force in May 2018, as set out in our Privacy Policy.


(1) You must have a conditional offer of a place on an OU degree-level module (these awards only apply to OU modules and do not cover Access modules);

(2) You must be a serving prisoner, with at least six months of your sentence still to serve on the day when the course you are applying for begins;

(3) All applications must be accompanied by a covering letter from the applicant explaining the reasons why you are applying for this award (there is a guidance sheet on how to write a covering letter in the application pack you will receive);

(4) You must provide evidence that you have applied for a student tuition loan while inside and been refused, or else set out the exceptional circumstances (providing additional evidence where appropriate) why you are unable to apply for student tuition-loan funding;

(5) All applications must be made on designated application forms ;

(6) All forms must be approved and endorsed for study on behalf of  the prison governor as is the case for other distance learning courses in custody;

(7)  Forms are available from The Frank Awards, PET, The Foundry, 17 Oval Way, London SE11 5RR, and should be returned to that address when completed;

(8) All applicants must have right to remain in the UK after completing their sentence;

(9) The funding provided in an award will be paid directly to the OU by the Longford Trust on behalf of the student.

Selection Criteria:

(1) Priority will be given in making awards to those who are studying for a first degree.

(2) Second degrees, or post-graduate courses, will only be supported if compelling evidence can be provided that the course of study proposed will enhance the applicant’s employment prospects on release.

(3) Priority will be given to younger applicants.

(4) The decision of the Longford Trust is final.  There is no appeal process.