Alan Wood

Mr Alan Wood
Director of Children's Services
London Borough of Hackney

Alan Wood CBE is the current President of the Association of Director of Children Services (ADCS) for 2014-2015.

From 2002-2012 Alan was the Chief Executive of The Learning Trust (TLT) which was appointed to deliver all of the statutory education services provided by London Borough of Hackney (LBH). Since 2006 Alan has also been the Corporate Director of Children and Young People’s Services in LBH. In that period education, social work for children, and youth services in Hackney have been transformed and now receive national recognition for their work. Alan has held the post of Director of Education in two London local authorities.

Alan was Chair of the Association of London Directors of Children Services (2007- 2010) and Vice President of the ADCS (2013-2014). He was appointed by the Secretary of State to be a member of the Training and Development Agency for Teachers (TDA) and was a member of the Advisory Group for the Education Funding Agency (EFA).

Alan was asked by the Secretary of State for Education to review the arrangements for Children Social Care in Doncaster (2013) and Birmingham (2014) and has co-authored subsequent reports with Professor Julian Le Grand (LSE). In 2013 Alan was appointed by the Secretary of State as Commissioner for Children Social Care in Doncaster to ensure a new Trust was established to provide these services. The Doncaster Children Services Trust (DCST) becomes operational from September 2014.

In 2011 Alan was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to education and local government. Educated at the Universities of York and Birmingham and the Institute of Education, he lives in London and has two children. His interests include 17th-century English History, Tour de France, and cinema.

Vice President

Alison O'Sullivan

Ms Alison O'Sullivan
Director for Children and Young People
Kirklees Council

Alison joined Kirklees as the Director for Children and Young People in January 2006.

Prior to this she was Director of Social Services in Bradford and led that department through major changes which reshaped services with a greater emphasis on community support and preventive services.

She has a career-long commitment to promoting better life chances for children and adults and many years experience of partnership working.

Alison began her career as a social worker and later worked in senior management, with a period of secondment to the Area Health Authority.

Current responsibilities for children encompass schools and education, services for children with special or additional needs, child protection, children in care, early years support, adult and extended learning and a range of provision for young people. For adults, Alison is responsible for promoting independence and wellbeing for older people, people with a disability and those with mental health needs. She also leads Commissioning and Health Partnerships for the Council.

Alison is active in ADCS regionally and nationally and is leading the Children’s Social Work Matters initiative for Yorkshire and the Humber. She is also a member of ADASS.

Alison became ADCS Vice President in April 2014 and will become ADCS President in April 2015.

Immediate Past President

Andrew Webb

Mr Andrew Webb
Corporate Director, Services for People
Stockport Council

After completing a degree in psychology and sociology, Andrew qualified as a teacher and a social worker. He has been employed in a number of local authority posts since 1976, working predominantly with children and families. He was previously Director of Children’s Services and Director of Social Services in Stockport, and responsible for children and families services with both Knowsley Council and Cheshire County Council prior to that.

Andrew was Deputy Chair of the Government’s Social Work Task Force in 2009/10, a member of The Independent Commission on Youth Crime and Antisocial Behaviour established by the Police Foundation, and is currently chair of the Research in Practice partnership board and a member of the newly created Family Justice Board. Andrew’s contribution to national policy has included a secondment as an adviser to the DfES to help develop the change programme supporting Every Child Matters and the Children Act 2004 and membership of a number of Government inter-departmental steering groups that produced guidance on safeguarding children, services to children in need and reducing delay in family proceedings. He was a member of the NSPCC working party that published ‘Which of You Did It?’ in 2002 and in 2004 was part of a working group chaired by Baroness Kennedy and sponsored by the Royal Colleges of Paediatrics and Pathology which produced a national protocol for the investigation of Sudden Unexpected Deaths in Infancy.

Andrew was ADCS President until March 2014.

Honorary Secretary

ADCS Honorary Secretary, Alison Michalska

Ms Alison Michalska
Corporate Director of Children and Adults
Nottingham City Council

Alison Michalska is Corporate Director for Children and Adults at Nottingham City Council. Alison joined Nottingham City in November 2013, prior to this Alison was Director of Children, Family and Adult Services at East Riding of Yorkshire Council. Alison is a qualified Social Worker and has worked with both children and vulnerable adults in many different guises over the course of her career.

In her current role Alison acts as both DASS and DCS, giving her responsibility for Children’s Services including Children’s Social Care, Schools and Early Years and SEN. Alison also leads Adult Social Care Services in Nottingham, as well as safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults, commissioning and Public Health.

Alison spoke at the ADCS Annual Conference in 2014 in the session on ‘Learning from the Inspected’ following Nottingham City’s inspection of their services for children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers. Other focuses of Alison’s time at the moment include Nottingham City’s Education Improvement Board established following a spate of unannounced inspections at some of the city’s schools and academies, as well as the implications of the Care Act and the Children and Families Act, and the growing demands on Children’s and Adults’ Services within local authorities.

Honorary Treasurer

ADCS Honorary Treasurer, Mark Carriline

Mr Mark Carriline
Executive Director of Children, Young People and Culture
Bury Metropolitan Borough Council

Mark began his career as a maths teacher in Cambridgeshire and Milton Keynes before joining Rochdale Education Department in 1987. He then worked in Wigan, in Salford (where he was Director of Education and Leisure) and Bradford, where he was Assistant Chief Executive responsible for Education, Community Development and Social Care. After a brief period working for Serco, he moved to Bury in 2007 as Assistant Director (Prevention & Partnerships) and became Director in January 2011, with his original children’s services remit expanding to include cultural services in April 2014.

Mark has been actively involved in ADCS and its predecessors since entering local government. He chairs the North West Regional Group.

Elected Director

ADCS Elected Director, John Coughlan

Mr John Coughlan
Director of Children's Services & Deputy Chief Executive
Hampshire County Council

Elected Director

ADCS Elected Director, Karen Reeve

Ms Karen Reeve
Service Director - Children, Families & Community Health
Swindon Borough Council

Elected Director

ADCS Elected Director, Sara Tough

Ms Sara Tough
Director of Children's Services
Dorset Council

Elected Director

ADCS Elected Director, Stuart Carlton

Mr Stuart Carlton
Assistant Director of Children's Services
Lincolnshire County Council


ADCS Board of Directors and Council of Reference

Board of Directors

The ADCS Ltd Board of Directors comprises the following positions:

All posts are elected by Ordinary Members of the Association.

Council of Reference

The Council of Reference of the ADCS Ltd comprises the Board of Directors, Policy Committee Chairpersons, Regional Chairpersons and representatives and the Chairperson of the Research Group.