National SEND and alternative provision implementation board

Today, Tuesday 6 June, the Department for Education published information about the purpose of the national SEND and alternative provision implementation board as well as naming its members. 

The board, which held their first meeting today, will work with the Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care on the actions in the SEND and AP improvement plan.

The national SEND and AP implementation board will oversee these actions and provide challenge and advice. The members will provide feedback and insight from their sector. They will also help to champion the changes government are making.


Current members are:

  • Claire Coutinho MP, Minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing (Chair)
  • Maria Caulfield MP, Minister for Women and Minister for Mental Health and Women’s Health Strategy (Chair)
  • Leora Cruddas, Chief Executive, Confederation of Schools Trusts
  • Rachel de Souza, Children’s Commissioner
  • Susan Douglas, CEO, Eden Academy Trust
  • Tina Emery and Sarah Clarke, co-chairs, National Network of Parent Carer Forums
  • Michael Freeston, Director of Quality Improvement, Early Years Alliance
  • Richard Gill, Chair, the Teaching School Hubs Council and CEO of the West Midlands MAT, The Arthur Terry Learning Partnership
  • David Holloway, Senior Policy Manager, Association of Colleges
  • Alison Ismail, Director, SEND and Alternative Provision, Department for Education
  • Christine Lenehan, Director, Council for Disabled Children
  • Nigel Minns, Strategic Director – People, Warwickshire local authority, and chair of the Association of Directors of Childrens Services and Health, Care and Additional Needs Policy Committee
  • Sue North, Head of Children and Young People for the Learning Disability, Autism and SEND
  • Professor Sarah O’Brien, Chief Nurse, Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB
  • John Pearce, Corporate Director of Children and Young People’s Services at Durham County Council and President of the Association of Directors of Childrens Services
  • Christopher Russell, National Director of Education, Ofsted
  • James Sanderson, Director of Community Health & Personalisation and joint SRO for SEND in NHS England
  • Alison Stewart, Head of SEND, South West London Integrated Care Board
  • Mark Vickers, Chair AP/SEND CEO Network and CEO of Olive Academies
  • Fiona Walshe, Director for Mental Health and Disabilities, Department of Health and Social Care
  • Simon Wellman, Director of Education and Skills, Telford and Wrekin Council

It is vital that the government works on implementing system change as outlined in the SEND and AP improvement plan to improve the experiences of children and families to ensure outcomes are met. I welcome the opportunity to use CDC’s expertise within the sector to provide advice, support change and challenge where necessary.

Dame Christine Lenehan, Director of the Council for Disabled Children

For more information and to view the terms of reference please click here.