Pauline grew up in Ely in Cambridgeshire where she attended Ely High School for Girls, a state grammar school. She trained as a teacher at Stockwell College, Bromley and taught in primary and secondary schools in London and Essex before joining the Royal Opera House as Opera Education Officer in 1983. From 1998-2007 she held five senior roles at Arts Council England, the development and funding body for the arts in England. Pauline set up the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural in 2008/9 and was responsible for building The Backstage Centre at High House Production Park in Purfleet, Essex which opened in 2012. Pauline was until recently Chief Executive of Creative & Cultural Skills.

Central to Pauline’s career has been her interest in how young people from all social backgrounds engage with the arts and culture either as participants or as workers,  particularly through apprenticeships, in the sector. She has been involved as a trustee or governor with arts and education organisations including Shakespeare Schools Festival, the Clore Cultural Leadership Programme, University Creative Arts, Shape Arts (Chair), Drama UK, the Da Vinci School for Creative Enterprise (Chair), High House Production Park and is currently a trustee of The Roundhouse.

Pauline has an M.A. from the University of Leeds. She was awarded a CBE, Order of the British Empire for services to Education and Training in the Cultural Sector, in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, 2014.


The Backstage Centre at High House Production Park

The Backstage Centre at High House Production Park, 2014