The association seeks to promote its aims by working with government and other bodies who develop policies, initiatives or provision relating to children and young people with social, emotional, behavioural and mental health difficulties .

Representatives of the association are invited to speak for SEBDA in consultations on policy development and on the committees of a number of relevant charitable or professional groups. In so doing they seek to inform and influence decisions and promote collaborative working and a shared understanding.

Our Association has been asked to contribute to reviews of national policy and the creation of guidance on various occasions in recent decades. We seek to respond to major government consultations relevant to working with children and young people with SEMH.


Examples of SEBDA’s work with Government:




  • Is currently represented on this newly formed Universal SEND Services group which will focus on the priorities for Preparation for Adulthood and Transitions for students with SEND. The group aspires to strengthen links between key stakeholders such as LAs, employers, schools and colleges, parent groups and include the views of young people with SEND.   The national forum will provide feedback back to regional networks and importantly report to the Department for Education.
  • Was invited to join the DFE Steering Group that refreshed the ‘Mental Health and Behaviour Guidance to Schools’ in 2018.
  • Presented to the DFE regarding the core content of Initial Teacher Training (2015).
  • Played an active role in the consultations for the 2008 DCSF BESD Guidance as well as for Circular 9/94 ‘The Education of Children with EBD’.
  • Contributed to the Inclusion Development Programme (BESD).
  • Was represented on the Expert Group for the 2008 DCSF/DH sponsored national review of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
  • Sent responses to government on major Green and White Papers, such as ‘Care Matters’ and ‘Back on Track’.

SEBDA is currently working with a number of organisations including Nurture UK, Engage in their Futures, nasen, the Council for Disabled Children, The Mulberry Bush, ARC and the National Union of Teachers. SEBDA is a member of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition and a Whole School SEND Consortium Partner.

David Colley represents SEBDA at the meetings of NCB of which SEBDA is a member. NCB is a charity whose mission is ‘to improve children and young people’s experiences and life chances, reducing the impact of inequalities’.

Joan Pritchard represents SEBDA on the Policy and Strategy Advisory Group (PSAG) of YoungMinds, a charity ‘committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people’

The ‘YoungMinds in School’ project aims ‘to improve outcomes for children and young people with emotional and social difficulties by providing a comprehensive suite of online learning resources for educational professionals along with a range of training courses related to mental health and wellbeing in schools’.

Sue Vernoit attends meetings of CDC, the umbrella body for the disabled children’s sector in England as a representative of SEBDA’s National Council.

David Colley works closely with CEO Kevin Kibble and training manager Helen Stollery on a range of related issue in order to develop a mutually supportive relationship between our two organisations.

SEBDA is a member of the Communication Consortium, The Communication Trust’s stakeholder group. The purpose of the group is to advise and support The Communication Trust’s programme of work.

Find out about our aims and ambition

Why become a SEBDA member?


Want to make a donation?