Sally Coates, Ian Bickers speak at PET lecture

29 Jun 2016

A month on from her groundbreaking review of education in prisons, Dame Sally will offer a personal perspective of leadership at PET’s Annual Lecture, joined by the Governor of one of Europe’s largest and most overcrowded jails.

Dame Sally will reflect on how her experience as a ‘Superhead’ in a failing London school prepared her for the task of analysing education in prisons, and will consider how we can apply lessons from mainstream education to penal institutions.  

Joining her will be four panellists with direct and divergent experiences of the prison system. HMP Wandsworth’s Governor Ian Bickers has been outspoken about the need for a fresh approach to governance since his jail was named as one of six ‘reform’ prisons. Bickers has been quick to engage prisoners in the running of their institution, and recently asked the men to help him interview prospective members of the prison’s executive committee.

Also speaking will be Dr Laura Firth, who taught in prisons for four years before moving into mainstream further education. Laura wrote to Dame Sally after the review was published to chastise the “injustices” and “waste” of the current prison education system, and support sweeping changes, especially in regards to the relationship between universities and prisons. 

They will be joined by Marie-Claire O'Brien, former prisoner and founder of resettlement and employment charity New Leaf CIC; and by Ben, who revitalised the learning culture at HMP Guys Marsh while he was completing his sentence, and is now setting up his own business on the outside. Read Ben's story here. 

The conference will be held on Monday 11 July at 6.30pm, followed by a wine reception. 

It will be held at Clifford Chance LLP, 10 Upper Bank Street, Canary Wharf, E14 5JJ.

To register, please contact or call or call 020 3752 5681. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

The event is generously supported by Clifford Chance LLP. The event is free but donations are welcome. For more information, please click here.