Saturday, 22 June 2019

Professor Paul Senior

Very sad to hear that Paul Senior's long battle with illness ended earlier today and I've been asked to publish the following tribute:-

I’m writing to you to find out how to get a blog entry onto your On Probation feed about the death this morning of Professor Paul Senior. You will know that through the TR debacle, while many Chief Officers (and others) were silenced, Paul stood, often alone, as a loud, irritating and critical voice, risking the future of his department at Sheffield Hallam. I am glad he lasted long enough to see his stance wholly vindicated (but not yet long enough to see Grayling get some comeuppance).

Paul was associated with probation from the 1970s. He was initially a probation officer in Doncaster, then a Training Officer in South Yorkshire Probation, before joining Sheffield Hallam University full-time in the 1980s. He became the first ever Professor of Probation Studies. He has trained thousands of probation officers, through the various manifestations of probation qualifying training, conducted and written many probation-related research projects, hosted the CJ Portal at Sheffield Hallam and was, until last year, the elected Chair of the Probation Institute. One of his fortes was to range across the seminars and workshops of a conference and deliver a succinct and accurate summary as the final speaker. He did this for NAPO trainees conferences for years on end. I suspect that there’s barely a probation officer in the country who is not acquainted with Paul himself, his work and his influence.

He died peacefully, with his children, Joe and Hannah, at his side, after a courageous 6-year battle with cancer.


Tony Grapes


  1. The singer may have stopped but the melody will always live on.

    RIP Paul.

  2. So sad .
    A great supporter to Napo . RIP

  3. Professor Paul Senior was a great supporter of probation profession and I am proud to have worked with him in London when he was a PO. He was a huge influence on me and personally encouraged me in my career. Many do not realise he was the architect of at least one national probation training system and remained passionate about teaching and training probation folk all his professional life. Goodbye Paul. A great Probation Officer Yorkshireman and academic.

  4. I met Paul Senior a few times when training as a practice teacher. An intelligent, reflective man. I learned a lot and although it was over twenty years ago, much still forms the cornerstone of my practice now.

  5. I spent many hours in his lectures as a trainee. A very passionate and engaging fella. Will be sadly missed by the professiob.