International Training Week on Prison Education

Invitation training week 'Education behind Belgian bars'

Vocvo is hosting the international training week 'Education behind Belgian bars' for teachers, education coordinators and other interested stakeholders in prison education from April 24th - April 28th in Mechelen, Belgium.

Vocvo vzw

Vocvo is the Flemish Support Centre for Adult Education. We support Flemish Centres for Basic Education and Centres for Adult Education in Flanders and Brussels. We are responsible for the implementation of the 5 year Strategic Literacy Plan of the Flemish Government. Vocvo also edits a newspaper and books for low-literate adults in clear language and supports companies and organisations in tackling literacy problems. Finally, a very important part of our work is the coordination of prison education in Flanders and Brussels.

Approximately 35 people work for our organisation, 15 of which are working in the field of prison education. We do not teach in prison, but we make sure the educational offer of the local Centres for Basic and Adult Education can be organised in prison. To this end our team of prison education coordinators works in all Flemish and Brussels prisons on a daily basis. We can build on almost 10 years of experience in prison education among our staff.

About the training

We organise the training week 'Education behind Belgian bars' for teachers, education coordinators and others with a special interest in prison education. This training will provide an idea of how prison education is organized in Flanders and Brussels. The participants will be introduced in practice and policy of the Flemish prison education system. 4 prisons in or nearby Mechelen will be visited. This will be the starting point for further discussion and exchange. Topics for discussion are, amongst others, language education, ICT and e-learning and vocational education in prison. The main goal is that the participants learn from each other and explore possibilities for their own work. The participants will be asked to also present their own organisation and their practice in prison education. This way we will open up the training course for mutual learning opportunities beyond our own borders.

Training goals

  • Introduction in adult education and the education system in Flemish and Brussels prisons
  • Learning about prison education in the countries of the participating organisations
  • Exchanging experiences regarding prison education
  • Learning how local language education is provided in the prison of Mechelen
  • Learning about ICT facilities, distance and e-learning in the prisons of Antwerp and Beveren
  • Learning about the European project Foriner on prison education for foreign national prisoners that Vocvo is coordinating
  • Learning about prisoners employment and vocational education in the prison of Leuven
  • Reflection on the programme and thinking about what you have learned and what you can take home for your own practice


You can find the programme here (pdf).


Practical information


Fill in the registration form in this link. Please keep in mind that the number of participants is limited to 15. We encourage you to register as soon as possible. After registration, you will receive a confirmation mail. If there are more than 15 participants, Vocvo has the right to select participants based on the participant’s function and experience in prison education and diversity in the group. We give priority to the enrollment of teachers and educational coordinators and will use a waiting list if necessary.
Your registration is final when your payment has been made. Payment instructions will be provided in the confirmation mail.

Registration fee

The price per person is € 435:

  • € 350 for the training (all training sessions including prison visits)
  • € 85 for transport to and from the prisons

Please note that the following is not included in the price:

  • breakfast
  • lunch on Tuesday and Thursday
  • dinner
  • accommodation


The training week will take place at the offices of Vocvo, which are located at the city center of Mechelen. Our address:

Vocvo vzw
Frederik de Merodestraat 27
2800 Mechelen

Vocvo is located within walking distance from Mechelen train station. A train ride from Brussels Airport (Zaventem) to Mechelen takes about 15 minutes.

City of Mechelen (tourist info)



Participants are responsible for booking their own accommodation for the training week. Hotel costs, breakfast and dinner are not included in the registration fee.

Some hotel suggestions (you can find more hotels here):

NH Mechelen
NH Mechelen is located at the Korenmarkt, in the historic city centre of Mechelen. The hotel offers a late check-out on Sundays and is only a five-minute walk from the Grand Place. Free WiFi is available. Within an eight-minute walk you can reach the St. Rumbold's Cathedral and the main shopping street Bruul. Station Mechelen, a three-minute drive, connects Brussels Airport and the highway to Brussels and Antwerp is five minutes' drive away.

3 Paardekens
Hotel 3 Paardekens' 33 rooms were completely modernised and refurbished in 2010. Everything is on hand to welcome you with the comfort of a three-star hotel. The desk in the reception area bears witness to the grandeur of the past. The unique glass breakfast area on the top floor, directly under St. Rumbold's tower, is the hotel's pride and joy.

Holiday Inn Express Mechelen
Located in Mechelen town centre. All rooms have all mod cons. The hotel is fitted throughout with air-conditioning and free internet connection. The Great Room, the central part of the hotel, gives onto the bar.


Please note that we could provide you with a document to add to your Europass Mobility, for the skills and knowledge you acquire in Belgium. Ask your organization to contact their National Europass Centre.

For more information on Europass, click here.

Contact information

For questions about the training week, please contact or

Download the pdf

Download this invitation as a pdf document here.