Our trustees

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PET’s board of trustees has a wide range of experience in prison education, social policy, finance and charity management.

Find out more about PET’s governance in our Annual Report and Accounts.

Board of trustees

Elisabeth Davies

Chair

Elisabeth Davies

Chair

Elisabeth has worked extensively across the charitable and public sectors. Alongside chairing the PET Trustee Board she is the Senior Independent Director of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and is Chair of the Assurance and Appointments Committee of the General Pharmaceutical Council. On the criminal justice side, Elisabeth is a trustee of the Personal Support Unit, supporting people going through the court process without legal representation.  She also sits on the Advisory Panel of the Independent Review of Legal Services regulation. In January 2019 she was appointed as a member of the Civil Justice Council which is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the modernisation of the civil justice system.

Catherine Dawkins

Hon. Treasurer

Catherine Dawkins

Hon. Treasurer

Catherine has worked in the voluntary sector for more than fifteen years and is currently the Finance Director of the Diocese of Chichester. She started her career at Pricewaterhouse Coopers and subsequently worked for Ernst & Young, Buzzacott Livingstone, prison charity Time for Families and two grant-making charities. She is a chartered accountant, a chartered tax adviser, has an MSc in Voluntary Sector Management and holds the ICAEW Diploma in Charity Accounting.  Catherine has a long interest in prisons and was a chaplaincy volunteer at HMP Brixton for seven years. Since then she has supported a number of prison charities and was delighted to join the board of Prisoners’ Education Trust in 2014.

Hilary Cross

Hilary Cross

Hilary Cross

Hilary has inspired and delivered award-winning marketing for over 25 years. Until the end of 2018 she was executive Global Marketing Director at the British Council where she led the transformation of the organisation’s marketing model across 113 countries, and led on external affairs and strategy development as well as global brand, marketing and corporate communications. For eight years until 2015, on the executive board at Macmillan Cancer Support, she contributed significantly to building the success of one of the UK’s top brands, winning Marketing Society Brand of the Year 2015. Hilary is passionate about social justice, the arts and Tottenham Hotspur FC.

Patrick Diamond

Patrick Diamond

Patrick is Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at Queen Mary, University of London. He was formally Research Fellow in the Department of Politics at the University of Manchester, and Gwilym Gibbon Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. He is a Visiting Fellow at Kellogg College, University of Oxford and an Associate Member of Nuffield College. As well as being a Board Member for PET, Patrick sits on the Board of the Dartington Service Design Lab and the Campaign for Social Science. He is also Chair of the think-tank Policy Network, and sits on the Scientific Council of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies. Patrick held a number of senior posts in British central government between 2000 and 2010, and was formerly Head of Policy Planning in 10 Downing Street. He was a Local Councillor in the London Borough of Southwark from 2010 to 2014.

Emily Giles

Emily Giles

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 Killen

James Killen

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 Mahil

Mandy Mahil

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.

Vicki Morris

Vicki Morris

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.

Dr Paul Phillips CBE

Dr Paul Phillips CBE

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 Dr Phillips was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Education by the University of West of England for his services to education in the South West. In July he was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to Further and Higher Education and was also named the 2019 FE Leader of the Year.

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.

Richard Ward OBE

Richard Ward OBE

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.

Mark Welsh

Mark Welsh

Mark is currently an Assistant Principal for Nacro, a Social Justice Charity that provides alternative pre and post 16 education in the community and in custody, including within the children’s secure estate and adult prison education sub-contracts.  has worked for the last 11 years as an Educational and Management leader for a variety of colleges, training providers and charitable trusts within the Prison and Probation Service. These have included positions as an Education Manager at HMP Holloway; Head of Education and Training at HMP Brixton and London Resettlement Lead for NOVUS as part for the MTC Novo Community Rehabilitation Company consortium for London.

© Prisoners' Education Trust 2021

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