Education is available to all but you might have to ask for it or even complain if you don't get it. The problem is that in some prisons it is a cushy alternative to work. This means that some of your fellow inmates in education really don't want to be there. This can cause disruption.
However, if you are really determined to improve yourself whilst in prison then opportunities are available.
Obtain the Education form from the Wing Officer and return it completed. Those inmates who cannot read or write usually get help in completing the form. You will then be called for assessment. This is a short test which is used to assess your present abilities. Quite a lot of the prison population cannot read or write and this test quickly reveals those people.
Reading and writing and basic skills is what the Prison Education Service is good at. More serious learning is either self taught or you will have to wait until you get out of a reception prison and into something longer term. In some prisons you can even take correspondence courses from the Open University.
My experience was that the abilities of the teachers was mixed and few of them could be described as good. Unfortunately the Prison Service puts education out to tender so the organisation prepared to do the job for the least money gets the job. The result often is poor standards.
The great thing about education is that you actually get paid to attend. Around 75p for half a day. Even in prisons which are working places such as North Sea Camp, each inmate is entitled to two sessions (half days) of education each week.