Ben has a track-record of carrying out significant research projects and fast-paced reviews, developing strategies and building capacity in the fields of special educational needs, support for vulnerable young people, education and children's services.
In the field of special educational needs and inclusion, Ben has led major national research projects for the Department for Education on the future of special educational needs funding, and alternative provision and inclusion. Ben has been a member of the Department's expert working group on funding for children and young people with high needs providing advice to ministers and senior officials. Ben has also led research into developing and sustaining effective local SEND support and services within local areas and co-led research into the pressures and the gap in funding for young people with high needs for the Local Government Association.
Ben has worked and is currently working with several local areas to help them to review current provision and develop strategic approaches to supporting inclusion, and offering effective alternative provision and of services for children and young people with high needs, special educational needs or disability. Ben has also supported the development of the additional learning needs reforms in Wales.
In children's services, Ben has led significant national research projects on the enablers of and barriers to improvement in local children's services , on the use of different models of improvement support and on what enables the development of effective, partnership-based models of early help. Ben has presented at national conferences and facilitated regional workshops for elected lead members and senior children's services leaders to share the findings of this research and build local capacity for improvement. Ben has also led teams that have worked with individual local areas to review their improvement journey and activities to date and develop strategies for embedding and sustaining improvements in children's services. Through these projects, Ben has worked with around 60 local areas' children's services across England.
In education and school improvement, Ben has led national research projects on the development of the education system in England. This includes a recent action research project for the Local Government Association on the role of local authorities in supporting school improvement, a think-piece on strategies for transforming local education systems, and the "temperature check" research on the development of the self-improving system in England. Ben has worked with schools-led partnerships, multi-academy trusts, local authorities and regional schools commissioners to develop strategies for supporting school improvement and robust partnerships.
Ben is an expert facilitator and has experience of facilitating high-profile summits, stakeholder consultations and strategy development events across the UK and internationally. Before joining Isos, Ben worked for the Department for Education, where he was one of the authors of the 2011 green paper on SEN and disability, and led reforms of the pupil premium and high-needs funding. Ben is a founder and trustee of Crossworld, a charity that uses football to empower young people from refugee backgrounds.