26 July 2023
Passionate about the life-changing impact of education, Elisabeth has chaired PET’s board of trustees since December 2018. She moves on to a new role as National Chair of the Independent Monitoring Boards (IMBs), responsible for the independent monitoring of prisons and immigration detention.
Recruitment for a new Chair for PET opens today and the deadline for applications is Wednesday 6 September.
As she steps down from the role, Elisabeth said:
I am in no doubt that being chair of PET has been one of the greatest privileges of my working life. I’ve been proud to lead a board that is true to PET’s values, with lived experience at the heart of everything we do, and I’ve been so impressed by the commitment and diligence of the PET staff team.
I will always consider myself a committed supporter of PET and if you’re considering applying to be my successor I cannot recommend the role, or the organisation, enough.
Despite the challenges of the COVID pandemic, PET has supported nearly 6,500 people in prison to start courses while Elisabeth has been Chair. We have also launched a new advice line for people in prison, which has taken over 4,700 calls to date.
Elisabeth has been a keen advocate of ensuring lived expertise is at the heart of the organisation, recruiting trustees with lived experience and creating a Trustee Development Programme to support people with lived experience to join the board in the future.
She also played a pivotal role in developing an ambitious new strategy for PET, as we look to expand our reach and extend the support that we provide to people in prison.
Elisabeth oversaw the appointment of PET’s Chief Executive Jon Collins in 2021. He said:
On behalf of staff and trustees, I would like to thank Elisabeth for her invaluable contribution to PET. We are incredibly grateful for the wisdom, diligence and judgement that she has brought to her role. She has moved the organisation forward in so many ways, inspiring a culture of collaboration and inclusivity.
While Elisabeth will be much missed, she leaves PET in a position of strength as we seek to ensure everyone in prison, wherever they are in the country and whatever their background, has access to education. I look forward to working with her successor to ensure that PET continues to thrive.
Deputy Chair Richard Ward OBE – who spent 14 years working on prison education policy in the civil service before his retirement in 2019 – has been appointed as Chair on an interim basis.
We are seeking a new Chair to guide the board and governance of PET and help lead us into the next stage of our strategy – building on our strengths to help transform the lives of people in prison through learning.
© Prisoners' Education Trust 2023