On Saturday 17 June 2023, Philippa Stobbs was awarded an OBE in the Kings Birthday Honours List, in recognition of her outstanding contributions championing special educational needs (SEN) and disability rights for children and young people. This follows on from the prestigious Person of the Year Award, received by nasen in November 2022.
Philippa retired from her role as Assistant Director for the Council for Disabled Children (CDC) in December 2022, after dedicating her entire career to improving outcomes for disabled children and those with SEN, having started as a teacher and inspector and then spent over three decades here at CDC. Philippa is a prolific, powerful advocate for children with SEN and disabilities.
Hear directly from Philippa in this blog here where she discusses finding out about the OBE and what it means to her.
Key highlights of Philippa's work at the Council for Disabled Children:
- The Special Educational Consortium (SEC): In 1992, Philippa set up the SEC to create a national campaign and lobbying voice for the disabled children’s sector. Under Philippa’s guidance and leadership, SEC brought about a number of important changes to the Children and Families Act in 2014, including the application of the legal framework to young people in custody, and stronger duties on health and social care services.
- The Early Years SEND Partnership (EYSEND): Philippa directed the EYSEND partnership, a national programme supporting professionals and parents with training, resources, and an approach to sharing learning, with the aim to increase access and inclusion in early years for children with SEN and disabilities.
- Philippa helped to establish and develop parent partnership services - now known as the Information, Advice and Support Services Network.
- Philippa is the national coordinator for England in the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education.
Key resources developed by Philippa at the Council for Disabled Children:
- The Council for Disabled Children Inclusion Policy
- Disabled Children and the Equality Act 2010: What early years providers need to know and do
- Disabled Children and the Equality Act 2010: What teachers need to know and what schools need to do
- A series of blogs that focus on different aspects of the duties in the Equality Act 2010 that provide some challenges for schools:
The Council for Disabled Children would like to congratulate Philippa on this incredible achievement.
I have learnt so much from Philippa over the years, her single-minded determination to make sure children with SEND get the education they need, one which recognises their strengths and supports the best possible outcomes, has been inspiring. This is a richly deserved award and policy and practice will be influenced by Philippa’s work for many more years to come
Dame Christine Lenehan, Director at The Council for Disabled Children