30 April 2019
Maria McNicholl, BA, PGCE, MA is Development Manager at St Giles Trust.
She has been involved in the Prisoner Learning Alliance since its inception because she sees first-hand the powerful and positive change education can make in prisons. She has worked for St Giles Trust developing their prison based projects for 17 years and started their first flagship “Peer Advice Project” at HMP Wandsworth in 2002 training prisoners to NVQ Level 3 in Advice & Guidance and supporting them to provide advice and guidance to their peers. This programme is now delivered in 30 prisons in England and Wales and has been developed in the community to provide opportunities for people with lived experience to work in our sector. She has also contributed to pan-European projects transferring the peer model into different settings such as training peer mentors in the Roma Community in Budapest.
She has a PGCE and MA, with distinction, in prisoner education from the Institute of Education, UCL. Her work with the PLA enables her to be part of the “bigger picture” and contribute to overall strategy and development in prisoner education which is an invaluable opportunity.
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