SEND Review Steering Group

The SEND Review Steering Group was set up to help the Department for Education publish the SEND Review and has now held its final meeting.

The group was established to bring together government departments with a broad range of organisations, including representatives for parents, schools, colleges, early years, local government, health and care and independent experts.

Group members provided advice and guidance to help conclude the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Review, which was published on 29 March 2022.


  • Steph Brivio: Director, Strategy, Social Mobility and Disadvantage, Department for Education (DfE) - Chair
  • Mark Vickers: Chair of Alternative Provision/SEND CEO Network
  • David Holloway: Senior Policy Manager, SEND, Association of Colleges
  • Charlotte Ramsden: President, Association of Directors of Children’s Services
  • Rachel de Souza: Children’s Commissioner
  • Leora Cruddas: Chief Executive, Confederation of Schools Trusts
  • Christine Lenehan: Director, Council for Disabled Children
  • Michael Freeston: Director of Quality Improvement, Early Years Alliance
  • Sally Burlington: Head of Policy (people), Local Government Association
  • Tina Emery: Co-chair, National Network of Parent Carer Forums
  • Mrunal Sisodia: Co-chair, National Network of Parent Carer Forums
  • David Bartram: Director, Prescient Education
  • Tony McArdle: Independent Adviser; Chair, SEND System Leadership Board
  • Sue North: Head of Children and Young People, NHS England and Improvement, Learning Disability and Autism Programme
  • Chris Russell: National Director, Education, Ofsted
  • Fiona Walshe: Director for Mental Health and Disabilities, Department for Health and Social Care
  • Alex Skinner: Director of Local Government Finance, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
  • Donna Ward: Policy Director of Children, Families and Disadvantage, Department for Work and Pensions
  • Lynsey Jones: Head of Schools and Early Years, Her Majesty’s Treasury
  • Indra Morris: Director-General, Children’s Services, Communications and Strategy Group, DfE
  • Charlie Lang: Deputy Director, SEND Review Division, DfE
  • Alex Marsh: Director of Academies and School Reform, DfE
  • Fran Oram / Sophie Langdale: Director of Children’s Social Care, DfE


The group first met on 28 September 2021 and concluded in February 2022. Membership was designed to facilitate effective join-up across wider departmental and government reform agendas in order to keep in sharp focus the cumulative impact of reforms on children and young people with SEND.

The group:

  • informed the development of, and fed back on, the Review’s problem diagnosis, they identified opportunities and potential solutions, helping to think through choices and trade-offs associated with potential options
  • shaped and provided steers on policy solutions, tested the robustness of proposals to deliver systemic improvements, and offered advice on deliverability and unintended consequences of options
  • supported the development of robust implementation arrangements informed by the evidence of what has worked elsewhere, and advised on arrangements for tracking implementation and success
  • advised, and supported delivery of, the Review’s communications and stakeholder and user engagement, identifying opportunities for shaping content of the green paper
  • supported development of consultation products, including the green paper itself, and robust, accessible and inclusive consultation arrangements

Find out more about the SEND Review and how you can share your views.