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Children's Services directory

An overview of the structure of Norfolk Children's Services and useful contact points.

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Helplines and useful contacts

Critical Incident phone line: 07623 912974

Safeguarding: 0344 800 8020 or email

Attendance: duty line 01603 223681 or email

Exclusions: 01603 307727 or

LADO: 01603 223473 or

Education LADO Duty Desk: 01603 307797

Children's Advice and Duty Service (CADS) - 0344 800 8021 (CADS referrals for professionals) or 0344 800 8020 (CADS referrals for the public)

Fair Access Enquiries: 01603 307749 or 01603 224226

Admissions Line: 0344 800 8020 or

Children Missing Education (CME): 01603 307716 or email

School and Community teamsFind your local team

Virtual school for children in care : Contact details


Senior leadership team

Executive Director: Sara Tough OBE

Director of Children's Social Care: Phil Watson


  • SEND & AP Sufficiency and Strategy
  • Family Help and High Needs

Director of Commissioning Partnerships and Resources: Sarah Jones


  • SEND Strategic Improvement and Early Effectiveness
  • Inclusion and Opportunity

Director of Sufficiency, Planning and Education Strategy: James Wilson

Including :

  • Education quality assurance, intervention and regulation service
  • Education Strategy and Infrastructure Service
  • Education Intelligence and Effectiveness service

Joint Associate Director Children and Young People (Health): Rebecca Hulme

Key contacts : 

Director of Children's Services :


Education Intelligence and Effectiveness Service

  • Pupil achievement and learning
  • Early Years Provision

The Education Intelligence and Effectiveness monitors the performance of education providers from Early Years to Post 16. The service seeks to work with all types of education provision and all who support them, to enable all children to get the best education possible.

Our teams focus on:

  • Pupil achievement and learning - monitoring the quality of education and how well pupils progress through the education system, with a sharp focus on inclusivity and the performance of vulnerable groups. Our use of data is focussed on three key priorities: keeping children safe, meeting needs early and effectively and improving outcomes for all children. Securing improvement in attainment in English and Mathematics remains a priority. Our work is underpinned by our support for accurate Statutory Assessment from Early Years to Key Stage 2 and the development of best practice in formative assessment to improve outcomes. The team includes the music service and outdoor learning at Whitlingham.
  • Early Years provision (0-5) in schools, settings and childminders to be sustainable and high quality. We work with colleagues in Community and Partnerships to support community provision for 0-2 year olds and develop joint strategies to increase take up of provision for disadvantaged 2 year olds. We continue to prioritise improving language acquisition and early reading from birth into Key Stage 1.

Assistant Director

John Crowley

Senior team:

Senior Adviser, Education Outcomes
Neil Groves

Senior Adviser, Early Years Learning
Jo-anne Lamb

Key contacts

Family Information Service :

Early Years Childcare :

Early Years finance :


Education Quality Assurance, Intervention and Regulation Service

  • QA Support & challenge in maintained schools
  • Ofsted Support
  • 3rd Party complaints about Education Settings
  • School Governance service
  • Educational safeguarding, attendance and Children Missing Education teams

The Education Quality Assurance, Intervention and Regulation Service (EQAIRS) contains teams with focuses on the statutory and regulatory roles of the Local Authority.

A team of Lead Officers oversee quality assurance in a number of maintained schools in which more support is required. For these schools they offer support and challenge and, in a small minority of cases, use the Local Authority's powers of Intervention to support rapid improvement.

The Service also focuses on quality assurance in other educational settings such as independent special schools, Alternative Provision and for other settings or providers and of EHCPs. It runs a Duty Desk to support schools which are undergoing Ofsted inspections and acts as the triage for LADO, offering advice and guidance. It also investigates third party complaints about educational settings, such as those received from Ofsted or MPs.

The educational safeguarding, attendance and Children Missing Education teams also sit in this Service offering support and guidance to settings and undertaking statutory work in these areas. EQAIRS also includes Services to Elective Home Education, Child employment and Chaperone licensing, Educational visits, the Education Covid Support team and the Governance Service.

Assistant Director

Sue Smith

Senior team:

Senior Adviser, QA and Intervention
Micky Harcourt-Heath

Governance Intervention Lead Officer
Helen Wardale

Senior Leaders, Intervention
Stuart Graver
Deborah Leahy

Senior Adviser, Education QA and Intervention Service
Kelly Waters

Senior Adviser Intervention
Michael Roughsedge

Senior Adviser
Sonia Walker

Lead Officer
David Oldham

Senior Child Employment & Entertainment Officer
Andrew Ridgway

Key contacts:


Education Infrastructure and Partnerships Service

The Education Infrastructure & Partnerships service is made up of a number of teams focused on creating and maintaining the conditions where sustainably good schools and providers enable learners to flourish.

We work with stakeholders across the system to deliver schools infrastructure & facilitate partnerships that enable children and young people's learning needs to be met within a self-improving schools system.  We support the LA in its duty to act as a champion for young people and exercise its education functions to promote high standards of education.

We create the conditions for children & young people to flourish across the system by: -

  • Providing sufficient school places
  • Acting as the co-ordinating Admissions Authority
  • Providing high quality appropriate school buildings
  • Providing appropriate home to school transport provision
  • identifying and delivering the structural changes which would benefit outcomes for learners

Working in partnership with the school's system to:

  • support strong leadership across the system.
  • understand and improve the capacity and expertise of the education workforce at teaching, support and leadership levels
  • enabling stakeholder collaboration which supports the education system to function effectively and improve outcomes for learners.
  • offer a comprehensive range of HR services to support school leaders in all aspects of employment.

Assistant Director:

Samantha Fletcher

Senior team and managers:

Capital Sufficiency Delivery Manager
Isabel Horner

School Organisation Manager
Anna Palmer 

Admissions Manager
Eric Clarke

Place Planning Manager
Paul Harker

Schools HR Manager
Ian Cooper

Schools HR Business Partner
Kate Philpin

Home to School Transport Senior Lead
Sam Mee

Partnerships Team

Senior Advisers, Strategy and Partnership
Victoria Groom
Karen Hutchison

Adviser, Partnership Development
Gavin Cowley

Adviser, School Workforce and Improvement
Katie Leightell

Key contacts : 


SEND & AP Sufficiency and Strategy

  • Specialist provision and placement planning, decision-making and funding.

The SEND & AP Sufficiency and Strategy Service has the lead role for:

Specialist provision and special school placements is commissioned through the High Needs Block and the service has lead responsibility for sufficiency planning for special school and Specialist Resource Base provision locally. 

Assistant Director

Nicki Rider

Senior team

High Needs Programme Manager
Stuart Brunton-Douglas

Projects Manager
Wendy Rudd

Senior Adviser, SEND Specialist Provision and Funding
Kim Breen

Service support

Service Support Manager High Needs SEND
Available shortly


Inclusion and Opportunity Service

The Inclusion and Opportunity Service provides support and advice for schools on overcoming barriers to inclusion for children and young people who may be vulnerable to underachievement. The service is organised across two virtual schools and two teams which work closely together to ensure the offer of support is effective in enabling learners to successfully attend their local school.

The Virtual School for Looked After and Previously Looked After Children leads on promoting positive educational outcomes for pupils who have experienced or who are under Local Authority care, or who have a Child in Need or Child Protection plan. Support and advice for children and young people who are unaccompanied asylum seekers, those who have English as an additional language or who are from Gypsy, Roma or traveller communities is also located in this team.

The Virtual School Sensory Support provides specialist teaching, training, advice and equipment for pupils with sensory loss (hearing and vision).

The Inclusion and SEND Team provides training, guidance, advice and support for schools on developing whole school approaches and inclusive provision, and bespoke advice to support the inclusion of pupils with SEND and those with complex SEMH needs. Statutory responsibilities relating to Fair Access and Section 19 duties are located within this team which ensure prompt placement and educational provision for pupils who are not on a school roll.

SENDIASS provides impartial information, advice and support about special educational needs & disabilities (SEND) for children, young people, parents and carers.

Assistant Director

Andy Tovell

Senior team:

Head of Virtual School Sensory Support
Victoria Zielinski

Senior Adviser, Learning and SEND
Alison Toombs

Senior Adviser, SEMH & Transition
Vicki Setters

Service support

Service Support Manager
Sarah Kendrick


SEND Strategic Improvement and Early Effectiveness Service

The SEND Strategic Improvement Team have lead responsibility within Children's Services for Norfolk's Area SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) Strategy, the SEND and Alternative Provision (AP) Transformation Programme and the response to the Area SEND Ofsted/CQC Inspection through the implementation of the Written Statement of Action. Taken together these three improvement programmes ensure that there is collective responsibility for SEND improvement across the council (including with Adult Social Care), with health partners through the Integrated Care Board, with parent/carer groups and education and health providers.

The team also have lead responsibility for addressing the budget pressures on the High Needs Block and Home to School SEND Transport budgets, returning these to balanced budgets and ultimately restructuring these to focus on early effectiveness.

Current priorities are the ongoing development of more specialist provision (new special schools and an increase in specialist resources bases), reviewing SEND and AP sufficiency strategies to assess if more/different specialist provision will be required to address current and future need, the response to Ofsted/CQC Written Statement of Action to improve timescales and quality for EHCP, working with parents/carers and education providers in co-production to ensure an ongoing cycle of review of all SEND services, information advice and guidance

Please contact members of the team directly for ongoing project/improvement work. For any general enquiries please use the team mailbox:

Assistant Director

Michael Bateman

Senior team

Senior Adviser, SEND Strategic Improvement
Stephanie Askew

Local Offer Manager
Claire Jones

Service support

SEND Strategic Improvement Officer
Kate Hinchley



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