Alan Wood

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

Alan Wood is the current President of The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS), he is also the Director of Children Services for the London Borough of Hackney.

Alan is a teacher by profession, reading history initially but then specialising in the education of children with special educational needs.

Between 2002 – 2012, Alan was the Chief Executive of The Learning Trust - a body contracted to provide all education services in Hackney from 2002 until 2012 when the services were returned to Hackney Council. In 2002, Hackney was widely regarded as the worst education authority in the country. Under Alan's leadership, The Learning Trust worked to turn around or close failing schools and pioneered the Academies programme. In 2012, over 60% of pupils in Hackney schools achieved 5 or more A*-C grades (including English and maths) at GCSE. This was above the national figure of 59%. Also, over the 7-year period since 2005/2006 when this indicator has been used, performance in Hackney has improved from 36.7% to 60.2%, an increase of 23.5 percentage points. This improvement is the 12th highest of any English local authority.

Alan was Chair of the Association of London Directors of Children's Services (ALDCS) between 2007- 2010 and Vice President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services in 2013 – 2014.

Alan was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2011 for his services to education and local government.

Vice President

Alison O'Sullivan

Ms Alison O'Sullivan
Director for Children and Adults
Kirklees Council

Alison joined Kirklees as the Director for Children and Young People in January 2006 and became Director for Children and Adults in October 2012.

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, Edwina Grant

Ms Edwina Grant
Director of Children's Services / Deputy Chief Executive
Central Bedfordshire Council

Edwina is Director of Children's Services and Deputy Chief Executive for Central Bedfordshire Council. She is an adviser to the Local Government Association and is a Board Member of the National Foundation for Education Research (NFER) and The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE).

Previously Edwina was Director of Children's Services in Nottingham City Council and at the London Borough of Redbridge.

Edwina has spent more than 20 years in local government posts with a number of Council’s. Prior to this she was a teacher and special educational needs specialist.

Honorary Treasurer

ADCS Honorary Treasurer, Sue Imbriano

Ms Sue Imbriano
Strategic Director Children and Young People's Services
Buckinghamshire County Council

Sue has been Strategic Director of Buckinghamshire’s Children and Young People’s Services since January, 2006.

Having been born, brought up and educated in Buckinghamshire, Sue graduated from the University of Warwick with Honours in Italian and Renaissance Studies. She then qualified as a teacher of Modern Foreign Languages and began her career in Northampton, teaching Italian and French.

In 1987, Sue joined Buckinghamshire County Council for the first time and for the next 12 years had a number of different responsibilities including support/challenge activities to schools; policy and planning; early years development; and the review of SEN provision.

In 1999 Sue joined the DfES and worked with local authorities on standards, structures and funding issues.

Sue returned to Buckinghamshire County Council in 2002 to take up the rôle of Strategic Director Schools and Chief Education Officer and restructured services to form the Children and Young People’s Portfolio in January 2006.

Sue is particularly passionate about the importance of the very early years of childhood and the development of our young people’s emotional intelligence and resilience.

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

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, Simon Kearey

Mr Simon Kearey
Programme Manager
Oxfordshire 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.