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Speaker Biography

Sir Paul Ennals CBE

Paul has been closely involved in developing the integrated approach to children and youth services, and was one of the principal architects of the “Every Child Matters” policy. He has had particularly close involvement in issues concerning special educational needs and disabled children, participation of children and young people, children and family social work, excluded children, early years services, and support of cross-sector working. He had direct involvement in developing the legislative framework for special educational needs, and creating the SEN code of practice.

Until August 2011 Paul was chief executive of the National Children's Bureau (NCB), a post he held for 13 years. He was previously Director of Education and Employment at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), where he managed seven schools, three further education colleges and a range of education and employment support services.

In the field of early years, he chaired the Government’s Review of Preschools and playgroups in 2002. He chaired the Government review of early support for disabled children which led to the development of the Early Support Programme.

Paul has played a prominent role in strengthening the children’s workforce. He brought together all the various workforce bodies concerned with children to create the Children’s Workforce Network in 2005. He established the Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC) in 2005, which grew to become a £120m business, and appointed the first Chair and Chief Executive. He returned to become Chair of CWDC in August 2009, a role he continues to hold.

He was awarded a CBE in 2002 for services to disabled children, and received a knighthood for services to children and young people in the Queen’s birthday list in 2009.


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