25 September 2020
Rod joined PET as its CEO in 2013. During his tenure, the charity has funded over 16,000 courses for people in prison, reaching a landmark 40,000 awards in 2018.
Over the last seven and a half years, Rod has worked with the team to launch the charity’s Alumni Network for former learners, its prison-university network to promote partnerships inside and outside prison, and the PLAN hub for researchers working in the field of prisoner learning.
As well as sitting on the expert panel for Dame Sally Coates’ review of prison education, Rod has been an integral part of the Prisoner Learning Alliance, which has grown to over 170 members including prison officers, governors, teachers, voluntary sector workers, and people with lived experience of prison.
Guiding PET through its most significant changes in decades
In 2016, he oversaw the network’s publication of its Theory of Change, exploring the value of learning in prison. He has also worked closely with the government’s Justice Data Lab to demonstrate the positive impact PET’s courses have on reducing reoffending and increasing learners’ chances of finding work.
Since 2018, he has led an ambitious three-year strategy for the charity – introducing a faster and more transparent application process for PET’s courses; rebranding the organisation and launching a new website; and guiding the team through the most significant changes to come to PET’s service delivery in decades.
And this year, in response to the Covid-19 crisis, the charity launched its first ever freephone Advice Line – the quickest, most reliable way to offer support to learners during the lockdown in prisons.
I have been privileged to lead PET now for over seven and a half fabulous years. I have enjoyed that time so much working with such wonderful colleagues. I am hugely proud of what we have achieved to grow the charity and to support so many prisoner learners over that time. I feel that now is the right time to hand over to someone new to take PET forward to even greater and better things in future.
Elisabeth Davies, Chair of PET, said:
All of us owe a huge debt of gratitude to Rod for his leadership of PET since 2013. He leaves an organisation that has grown hugely in scope and influence in prisoner education. I am working with Board colleagues to ensure that we find someone with the skills and commitment to build on his legacy and who can replicate his value-led leadership.
Rod will be continuing as PET’s Chief Executive while the recruitment process progresses and to ensure a smooth handover with his successor.
PET is being supported in the recruitment by the search agency Starfish. Find out how to apply for the role here.
© Prisoners' Education Trust 2023