Richard retired from the Civil Service in 2019 having spent his last 14 years working on prison education policy. He was involved heavily in the 2011 John Hayes/Crispin Blunt review of prison education and a member of Dame Sally Coates’ team during her 2016 review. Richard’s policy responsibilities also included learning difficulty and disability, and disadvantaged learners in general.
Prior to this Richard had a variety of finance and procurement roles in the Department for Education. His career began in customer-facing roles in the Employment Department. Richard is a school governor and part-time Chief Executive of a small Bedfordshire-based charity.
Simon is a Chartered Accountant and Corporate Treasurer who has worked for several years in housing, care and support in senior management roles, primarily in finance and treasury. Prior to joining the housing sector, Simon worked in accountancy practice in audit and corporate finance. Simon is currently Corporate Director – Finance, Investments and Development for Hafod Housing, a housing, care and support organisation based in South Wales.
Ola is a former solicitor and a trained counsellor who currently works as a certified project manager specialising in business and organisational change management.
Due to her personal experience, Ola developed a passion for rehabilitation having realised that a lot of people in prison, especially women, had little or no education, training or literacy skills.
Ola strongly believes that education is the key that opens the golden door of freedom – emotional, psychological, financial and physical – and effectively reduces reoffending.
She was the first member of the PET Trustee Development Programme and became a full member of the board in 2022.
Having spent most of her career in local government and the third sector, Judith joined the Prison Service in 2009. She worked in five prisons, in various roles, before becoming Governing Governor of HMP Maidstone. Judith has seen first hand the positive change that the opportunity to learn new skills can have on those in custody. Retiring from the Prison Service in April 2022 gives Judith the chance to pursue particular interests and she is delighted to be able to work with PET as a trustee.
Emily leads the Criminal Justice Programme at The Bell Foundation, working to remove barriers to justice and rehabilitation for speakers of English as an additional language. Before this she oversaw the MOJ Covid-19 response grants programme at Clinks, led the policy and communications team at Adfam UK, and worked as Voluntary Sector Coordinator at HMP Wandsworth.
She has an MSt in Criminology, Penology, and Management from Cambridge University, and an MSc in Politics and Communication from LSE. During the Covid pandemic she has been learning Spanish, and hopes to one day work in the Mexican criminal justice system.
James is a doctoral researcher in mental health and human rights issues and holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law. Previously he served in the armed forces, has deployed on operations in a mental health support role and has experience of working with literacy mentors and adult learners.
Mandy’s personal experience of the criminal justice system convinced her of the need to support prisoners with greater access to education and opportunities for self-improvement.
Upon her release from prison, Mandy returned to full-time study and obtained a BA(Hons) degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) from King’s College London, where she also served as trustee for the Students’ Union (2016-17). Mandy maintains a particular interest in supporting BAME women in prison and victims of sexual assault. She works with a number of organisations to promote reform in the British criminal justice system and improve the prospects of current and former prisoners.
Mandy joined PET as a trustee in 2020.
Ken is currently deputy principal and deputy chief executive at York College, with responsibly for curriculum, quality and student experience, having previous been the vice principal for quality at Barnsley College. Prior to that, he was one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors for Ofsted and inspected a wide range of providers including the education provision in Prisons. During these inspections he developed his interest in ensuring that the most vulnerable people in our society have access to high quality learning opportunities and recognised the importance of the role that PET have in the prison education landscape.
Vicki is the Deputy Director of the Centre for Justice Innovation, a not-for-profit organisation that champions innovative practice and reform across both criminal and family justice. Prior to this role, Vicki started her career as an English teacher in mainstream secondary education and, after undertaking various senior leadership positions in this setting, she moved into offender learning where she managed the education provision at Wetherby Young Offender Institution.
Vicki also gained experience of education service delivery in adult custodial settings through her secondment to HMP Newhall, a closed women’s prison in Wakefield.
Lewis was awarded a PhD from Cambridge University (Queens’ College) and has worked in education for over 20 years. He is a Trustee of the Autism Centre of Excellence at Cambridge; Advisor for Hostage International; and a Board Member of Time-Matters UK, supporting children with a parent/s in prison. In 2018 he set up his St Martin’s Challenge which has raised over £100,000 assisting vulnerable people on the margins. As part of this Challenge, Lewis ran 100 miles from Ruislip to Canterbury in aid of PET. He has volunteered at HMP Pentonville and trained as a Mentor at HMP/YOI Feltham.
Sir Paul Phillips
Sir Paul Phillips
Paul Phillips is Principal & Chief Executive of the Weston College Group situated in North Somerset. This award-winning College regularly features at the top of the league tables for FE and holds the South West and South East contracts for Offender Learning.
Most recently Sir Paul has received an honorary knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in recognition of his services to education and in particular his leadership commitment to key national educational agendas such as mental health, higher technical education and inclusive practice for which he has shown a lifelong commitment, sharing best practice as the National People Lead, for one of three Department for Education National SEND Centres for Excellence in the UK – a status awarded to the College in 2019. In 2019, he was also named the FE Leader of the Year and was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Education by the University of West of England for his services to education.
He was formerly Vice Principal of the largest College in Wales. His career has included work and consultations for NHS, Offender Learning, MOD and public services. In addition, he has published research papers related to the Cost Benefit Analysis of education.