Picture of John Coughlan - Birmingham's SEND commissioner

John Coughlan
SEND Commissioner

John Coughlan is the DfE Commissioner for SEND in Birmingham, appointed in September 2021 in response to the series of poor Ofsted and CQC inspection outcomes. This was the first time that the DfE applied this model of intervention to SEND. John is a well-respected and experienced Director of Children’s Services, former Council Chief Executive and a respected Commissioner. He knows Birmingham well, having spent some of his childhood and part of his early career here.


Listed below are John Coughlan’s annual reports to the Secretary of State for Education.

SEND Improvement Board

The SEND Improvement Programme (SIP) is governed through the SEND Improvement Board chaired by John Coughlan. The SEND Improvement Board meets every six weeks and highlight reports are produced for each of the outcomes agreed. The Board has representation from Birmingham City Council, the Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Provider, Birmingham Children’s Trust, schools and education settings, Birmingham Parent Carer Forum, the Leader of the Council, the Cabinet Member (Children, Young People and Families), other elected members, the Department for Education and NHS England.

SEND Improvement Updates

More information on the SEND Improvement plan can be found in connection with details on our Accelerated Progress Plan