Who we are

The CIPR Education and Skills group committee is made up of hard-working PR professionals working across Education. We meet several times a year and organise the various events and activities on behalf of our members that you can read more about on this blog.

If you are interested in joining the Education & Skills committee, please read through the Group’s Terms of Reference to familiarise yourself with what’s involved.  To apply to be co-opted onto the committee,  contact the Group’s Chair, Louise Jaggs, giving brief details of your work experience within the education and skills sector, outlining the skills you believe you would bring to the committee, and suggesting the type of support you may be able to offer.


Committee officers:

Louise JaggsLouise Jaggs – Chair MCIPR CIPR Accredited Practitioner 

+44 (0)7712 011246



Twitter – education-related news: @ed_ontap

Twitter – PR, marketing and social media: @ontapchat

As one of the founder members of the Education & Skills Group, Louise has been an active committee member since its launch in 2003 – holding various posts before taking over as Chair in April, 2012.

Louise is founder and Group MD of the On Tap Comms Group and specialises in developing strategies for integrated multi-platform PR and communications – incorporating traditional, digital and social media channels. She has over 25 years’ PR and comms experience spanning journalism, PR and marketing – 15 of which have been focused on the education and skills sector.  Passionate about CPD, Louise was one of the first CIPR members to be awarded Accredited Practitioner status, having joined the scheme at its inception.


Graham SmithGraham Smith – Treasurer MCIPR 

Graham is Managing Director at the Twelve Consultancy, A leading public relations and market research consultancy for the education and related sectors.

Mithu LucraftMithu Lucraft – Secretary/Digital and Resources Officer Dip CIPR, MCIPR, CIPR Accredited Member 

Mithu Lucraft is PR Manager for SAGE, a leading academic and professional publisher, based in London. With nine years’ experience in marketing and communications, she began her career as Marketing and Communications Assistant for Oxford Journals (Oxford University Press), becoming Communications Manager in 2006. At SAGE she heads up the PR, Conferences and Events team, responsible for all corporate relations strategy including press, corporate communications, branding, sponsorship, events and exhibitions.

Mithu is the current CIPR Education and Skills Group Secretary and is also the group’s Digital and Resources Officer, chiefly ensuring that this blog and the group’s other social channels are kept up to date. In addition to the CIPR Education & Skills committee, she is also a member of the STM Association Communications team. She is a CIPR Accredited Practitioner. She blogs at http://mithulucraft.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter: @mithulucraft

LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/mithulucraft


Simon ButtSimon Butt-Bethlendy – Events Officer  MCIPR

Simon has worked in communications roles for 15 years, specialising in higher education public relations for the past eight. He has experience of publishing, business development and private and public sector PR as well as tutoring and marking for the PR Academy. A CIPR Accredited Practitioner, he has two CIPR Diplomas, in Public Relations and Public Affairs & Political Communication.

At the University of Derby he handled media relations for schools and faculties gaining national and international coverage to help raise Derby’s profile and boost its reputation. He promoted entrepreneurship education and graduate start-ups as Director of Communications at the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship (NCGE). Then, at The University of Nottingham, his roles spanned media relations, reputation management, corporate relations, stakeholder relations, campaigns and research impact as part of an award-winning communications team.

Since October 2012 he has run his own communications practice, Consonant Communications, focusing on research impact, the REF and international higher education. He has been a member of the CIPR Education & Skills Committee since 2007.


Elizabeth UnderwoodElizabeth Underwood – Regional Events Officer

Freelancing as UnderwoodWorks since 2010 and based in Sheffield, Elizabeth has worked in education communications and PR for more than 10 years.  Part of the original team which launched the learndirect e-learning network in 1999, she became Head of Communications for learndirect in 2002, leading and managing the function responsible for press, stakeholder communications, public affairs, internal communications and consumer PR in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  In 2009, Sheffield Theatres appointed Elizabeth as its first learning director, and she spent a year there as part of the senior management team in the run-up to the re-opening of the Crucible Theatre following a £15.3 million redevelopment.

UnderwoodWorks’ clients include The Open College of the Arts, a higher education charity offering degrees in creative arts subjects through open learning; online mentoring charity Brightside, which works with corporate partners to widen access to higher education; the National Extension College, which offers GCSEs, IGCSEs, A levels and diploma for adults; and creative learning consultancy CapeUK.  She completed a PGCE at the Institute of Education in London in 1985, taught adult literary for the then Greater London Council at the end of the 1980s, and also taught English as a Foreign Language in Italy and in the UK.  As well as her professional involvement with education and learning, Elizabeth is vice-chair of governors at a Sheffield secondary school which is the most improved in the city over the last four years based on GCSE grades A* to C, local authority governor at a Sheffield primary school and a Trustee of the Children’s Hospital Charity, which is just embarking on a £30 million capital fund raising campaign.

Follow her on Twitter @UnderwoodWorks or visit www.underwoodworks.com


A_Tobin_smallAlison Tobin – Events Promotions Officer MCIPR

Cardiff Law School
Cardiff University
Museum Avenue
CF10 3AX
029 2087 5465

Alison is the PR and Marketing Officer at Cardiff University’s Law School.  She has over 12 years experience in marketing and communication across the public,private and voluntary sectors.  She joined the CIPR Education and Skills Committee in 2011 and recently became the Group’s Events Promotions Officer. She is a CIPR Accredited Practitioner.

Anne WhitehouseAnne Whitehouse – Partnership and Sponsorship Officer

Anne is Head of Marketing at Buckinghamshire New University. Previously she was Alumni Enterprise Manager at Oxford Brookes University.


Committee members:

Mike FindlayMike Findlay

Mike is a skilled communications practitioner with over ten years experience within high profile organisations across the Higher Education, cultural/arts, charity and public sectors. Currently he heads up the media relations and events team at the University of Surrey.


Emma LeechEmma Leech  BA (Hons) MBA FRSA FlnstILM FCIPR FCIM FCMI CMgr MIoD MCAM FIIC Chartered Marketer Chartered PR Practitioner

Emma is Director of Marketing, Communications and Recruitment at The University of Nottingham. She has responsibility for student recruitment and global marketing and communications at the University and leads a 54 strong team of full and part-time staff covering:

  • media and corporate relations
  • internal and student communications
  • web and digital
  • recruitment and corporate marketing
  • UK student recruitment, enquiries and schools liaison.


Ann NichollsAnne Nicholls

Anne is a communications and PR professional with over 20 years experience working for public and non-for-profit sector organisations in roles ranging from Press Officer to Head of Communications.



Tania Rhodes TaylorTania Rhodes-Taylor

Tania is Director of Marketing and Communications at Queen Mary, University of London. Previously she was Head of Marketing, Development and Communications at the Institute of Education, University of London.


Vicky RobinsonVicky Robinson

Vicky is a Chartered Marketer, MA, MCIM, MCIPR, Director of Communications ABS and County PR Officer for the Kent Army Cadets. She was shortlisted as a finalist for the Chartered Institute of Marketing Excellence Award 2011 under the category Public Sector. As well as the CIPR Education and Skills committee, she is also the Editor for the Academy of Marketing Newsletter.


Alison SteeleAlison Steel

Alison is Director of Marketing and Communications at Kingston University. She is an award-winning Marketing and Communications Director with substantial experience of developing and implementing fully-integrated strategies and of senior operational management and leadership in the university sector. Practical experience across a wide range of marketing disciplines with key strengths in media relations, brand strategy and crisis management.


Richenda WoodRichenda Wood

Richenda is MD of Livewire Public Relations, specialists in the education sector and technology markets.