High Needs Delivery
Advisory Board

The High Needs Delivery Advisory Board was set up to support local areas to support each other, sharing learning on what works in improving outcomes in High Needs and tackling shared challenges together. It is made up of sector leaders and experts alongside families with lived experience.

Using IMPOWER’s proven EDGEWORK® change methodology approach and tools to drive culture and behaviour change, this Board provides the infrastructure to share skills and expertise across multiple local areas experiencing the same issues.

  • We provide a safe space for Senior Leaders to share insights, ask questions and pose worries or challenges they’re facing.
  • We generate ideas and solutions to specific challenges affecting the High Needs system, drawing on the insights of families with lived experience.
  • And, we provide a catalyst for learning at practitioner level that can create and embed new approaches to child-centred, strengths based support for children with SEND.

Of SENCOs say that VSEND will be helpful to their school or setting


Reduction in requests in for assessment with parents and schools more confident that needs were seen and met (Autumn term 2020 vs 2-year average)

Of those accessing SEND advice line were successful and didn’t need specialist support to meet their needs (i.e. EHCP)

Aim of the board

  • Enable joint working and skills sharing across local areas experiencing similar issues
  • Provide a reflection, innovation and problem-solving forum for leaders, drawing on the insights of families
  • Keep a focus on the delivery of frontline changes which improve the lived experience of children with SEND and their families
  • Share learning and insight on ‘what works’ with the wider sector

Meet the HNDAB panel

Jenny Coles

High Needs Delivery Advisory Board Chair

Dame Christine Lenehan

Former Director, Council for Disabled Children

Heather Sandy

Executive Director of Childrens Services, Lincolnshire County Council

Pauline Melvin-Anderson OBE

Former Director of Learning, Inclusion & Skills, Derby City Council, Inclusion Consultant

Coralie Cross

Parent Carer representative and chair, Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum

Jo Fisher

Executive Director of Children’s Services, Hertfordshire County Council

Lorraine Mulroney

National Specialist SEND Advisor, NHS England

Carol Kelsey

Independent Parent Carer rep

Louise Aynsley

Chief Financial Officer, Suffolk County Council

Tina Emery

Co-chair, National Network of Parent Carer Forum

Alastair Thompson

Delivery Director, IMPOWER Consulting

Geoff Hinkins

Delivery Director, IMPOWER Consulting

Libby Caulfield

Senior Manager, IMPOWER Consulting